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Private tutors - worth it for a 5 year old? Anyone else used one?

(18 Posts)
TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Wed 05-Sep-07 20:42:36

A company call the Student Support Centre (based in Kent, I think) rang up offering DD a "free assessment" in literacy & numeracy (I filled in an expression of interest last term but had forgotten about it). If we go ahead with the lessons, it will be around £12 a week - no idea how that compares to others.

DD is late summer born, just starting year 1 & doesn't "get" numbers, reading or writing at all - she recognises & can write her name & most other letters (but can't formulate them into words) & that's about it.

So should I wait & see if it starts to click in yr 1, or try to give her a leg up with some private tuition?

Would really welcome the wisdom of MN on this one smile

kid Wed 05-Sep-07 20:45:32

My DD has a very good private tutor but she didn't start working with her until she was 7.
I do think 5 is very young as they can pick up new things very fast at that age. As long as your DD is making some progress I would personally say leave it for now. No harm in considering it again at the end of the year or after the dreaded SATS results(I hate them)

Hulababy Wed 05-Sep-07 20:53:24

I think 5 is very young to be worrying about tutors. It is very common for hildren to go into Y1 not knowing these things - often Y1 is the year it clicks. For now I'd save your £12 a week and just see how your little girl goes on. So long as she is making some steady progress and her teachers are happy with what she is doing, don't worry.

TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Wed 05-Sep-07 20:53:26

Oh gawd when are SATS? Surely not this year?

<ashamed of my ignorance emoticon>

Thanks for the advice kid - sort of what I was thinking

NormaSnorks Wed 05-Sep-07 20:57:13


Save the money and buy some Letts workbooks and ELC magnetic or bath letters and numbers and spend at least 15 mins a day with her playing word/ number games and practicising pencil control etc.

DS1 is same age and has similar abilities - he is suddenly into puzzle books and dot-to-dot and it's improving his writing/ numeracy.

There are also some good children's comics (e.g. from the BBC) which have 'exercises' disguised as games/ drawing etc.

kid Wed 05-Sep-07 20:57:26

SATS are towards the end of Year 2 (usually around May)
The Year 1 teacher will be trying to boost your DD anyway so hopefully everything will suddenly click.

NormaSnorks Wed 05-Sep-07 20:59:04

I don't know whether I want to admit this, but it has probably been 'buying' things on Club Penguin (with his older brother) which has most contributed to his understanding of numeracy ! shock

NormaSnorks Wed 05-Sep-07 21:01:39

What reading system are they using at school? Is it Jolly Phonics? I found that they rushed through all the Phonics sounds in the first term in Reception, and as a result DS didn't really absorb it all (he was only just 4 when she started school!).
So I did a lot of repetition of the sounds over the course of the year, and also over summer. He's just about on a par with all his class now.

Hulababy Wed 05-Sep-07 21:02:11

Monopoly Junior - recently half price to less than £5 at Woolworths - is good for numeracy skills as it uses very low value notes. Plus encourages some reading - to read the chance cards.

A lot of the Orchard Toys are learning related.

seeker Wed 05-Sep-07 21:04:52

No no a thousand times no!!!!! He's 5. In a lot of countries he wouldn't be even at school proper yet. Let him be - he'll be fine!

Oh and ignore the SATS - they are there to assess the teahers, not the pupils.

Read him tons and tons of stories.

TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Wed 05-Sep-07 21:07:36

NormaSnorks (great name BTW). Really good advice, but have bought a few books, number / letter games & activities, (including the jolly phonics work books)& she just will not engage with them or me. Despite using rewards, and making it as fun and positive as possible

I'm a full time working single parent, so the time that we spend together after school is quite limited & I don't want to push her too hard with activities she simply doesn't want to do, when she's just really happy to see me (not to mention trying to cook dinner, bathe her and so on). I am trying to address the full time working (and the singledom grin) so that I can at least collect her from school a couple of times a week - might be easier then

TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Wed 05-Sep-07 21:09:09

What's club penguin?!

Hulababy Wed 05-Sep-07 21:10:48

If she doesn't like the formaility of work books, do it through games.

DD likes Club Penguin. I let her use it on safe mode, so she is very limited to the communication with other players. She likes all the games and the wandering roud. I am mean - I haven't paid for membership, I think there seems plenty to do without at the moment anyway.

Club Penguin

TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Wed 05-Sep-07 21:13:45

We do read masses of books, and she loves looking at books, magazines or whatever's to hand and making up stories based on the pictures, or what she imagines the people are saying to each other (her favourite is the boden catalogue shock blush)

She also enjoys making up words & rhymes. I'm an avid reader too, and I think that she has a real love of stories which will see her through the reading and writing eventually.

But at the moment, she's just not getting it, and won't let me help her, as I say. School aren't great at giving feedback & seem to put a positive spin on everything.

So thanks for all the very helpful & sensible advice.

TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Wed 05-Sep-07 21:16:28

Mmm, won't even play a game with me if it involves counting or letters sad

NormaSnorks Wed 05-Sep-07 21:18:18

TMWOSQ - sorry, I wasn't meaning to imply that you hadn't been spending time with your daughter, and I do understand your dilemma.

I think Hulababy's right - you might just need to find other things she's interested in which casually include numeracy and literacy work.

I found that 'snatching' 10 minutes of 'waiting time' - in the car/ in a cafe etc and finding games to play/ things to write etc all helped too.

Nothing inspired DS1 to write so much as telling him that unless HE personally wrote his Christmas list, then Santa wouldn't read it! hmm

TheMoistWorldOfSeptimusQuench Wed 05-Sep-07 21:40:42

Oh no Norma, I didn't think you were implying that smile

I'm really grateful for all the good advice. Thank you.

startouchedtrinity Wed 05-Sep-07 21:48:01

I got dd1 a set of foam alphabet letters for the bath from Tesco. She woudl sit in the bath for ages spelling out words, or getting me to. Maybe she could start with the names of her favourite characters?

Aside from that though there is no need to worry yet and I certainly wouldn't touch afirm who sound as though they are scaring parents into using them. The school will let you know if they are worried. Many children don't pick up literacy/numeracy until 7 plus, which is why a) SATS are criminal and b) most countries start formal education later than us - the reason we don't is purely ecomomical i.e. it gets more parents out to work.

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