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What age to start tutoring?

(70 Posts)
hibbledobble Mon 30-Jan-17 22:15:59

Dd is in year 1 in a state school in a deprived area. The iintake is very mnixed ability.

She is very bright and is doing very well so ffar, but does report that the work is too easy for her so she finds it boring. We do a lot of reading and exercise books at home, at her instigation. She loves Learning.

At 11 we would likefor her to go to a pprivate or grammar school, and I'm conscious that there is likely already a gap between her and privately educated children.

At what age is it worth trying to 'top up' her learning with a tutor? And would 121 or a tutorial school setting be better?

hibbledobble Mon 30-Jan-17 22:25:53

Apologies for the typos, I'm on my phone

christinarossetti Mon 30-Jan-17 22:59:31

I would be more concerned that my Y1 child is reporting being 'bored' at school than whether to get them a tutor or not.

What does her teacher say?

hibbledobble Mon 30-Jan-17 23:15:02

She does love school overall : she has lots of friends and really enjoys pe.

I haven't asked her teacher about her finding the work boring. He has said that she is very bright, but can struggle to concentrate. I'm not sure if that is because the work is not differentiated enough for her.

I am very aware that he is catering for 30 children from a wide range of abilities, and his ability to cater for outliers will be limited as a result.

fatowl Tue 31-Jan-17 01:24:34

I teach in Asia (the tutoring capital of the world). I teach KS2/KS3 ESL and I would say every single one of my students have external tuition and have done since very young, it is absolutely standard, and parents will continue no matter what I say about the student not needing it in English (I refrain from commenting about other subjects)

You will have plenty of people piling in soon in horror about tutoring your dd at Y1 age- it will be seen as very Tiger mum

If the teacher says she is bright but struggling to concentrate, I would work with him on strategies to improve that.

At home, I would take your lead from her. What does she really enjoy doing? Reading? Maths? Science exploration?

If she is a great reader, look at recommended reading books for Y2-3- read them with her to make sure she is actually understanding the content rather than "just reading" (One of my students parent swears blind her younger son aged 6 is reading Lord of the rings- I don't buy it, he might be reading the words but I'll bet he isn't follwoing the story)

If she is enjoying maths and science - visit museums, look at experiments you could do at home.
Visit places of interest etc to improve her general knowledge (Many of my students can rattle off the contents of text books they've learnt by heart , but their general knowledge is shocking)

I'd be wary of engaging a traditional tutor in Y1, after the inital joy of the 1:1 attention, it might end up just like school.
Keep the joy of learning alive, it doesn't have to be sat at the table.

fatowl Tue 31-Jan-17 01:25:33

Or what about learning a language?

christinarossetti Tue 31-Jan-17 05:09:11

If she's struggling to concentrate at school, then more formal work outside school (in addition to the worksheets etc that she does with you), will be counterproductive and unnecessary.

In addition to OP's excellent ideas, what about learning a musical instrument, dance, martial art etc.

AlmostNQT Tue 31-Jan-17 05:29:26

I tutor a 4 year old child in Phonics as them being behind in it was harming their development into reading and writing!

I'd say do whatever you think is best! A good tutor will cater their input to make it fun and enjoyable anyway.

You do need to talk to the teacher though and pinpoint where she needs help!

mrz Tue 31-Jan-17 05:41:45

How can a four year old be behind in phonics when many don't begin until five?

kilmuir Tue 31-Jan-17 05:43:59

This all sounds mad

SaltyMyDear Tue 31-Jan-17 05:55:46

She shouldn't be behind her private school peers.

State schools differentiate so if she's bright she should be taught to her ability.

The 11+ is often a verbal and non verbal reasoning test. Which is basically an IQ test. So tutoring helps very little.

People who get tutoring for the 11+ generally do so in Y5. But plenty of pupils at my DSs grammar school didn't even do that. It's basically an IQ test. Bright kids pass.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 31-Jan-17 06:02:17

Around here tutoring for 11+ is generally in yr5. Any earlier and they get bored. At a pinch yr4 if you felt she was really struggling. Other than that I would say get her reading beyond the school books, consider enrichment in terms of a language or instrument. Quizzes, coding, etc. If you start tutoring too early she will firstly be further ahead and so more bored and secondly will be too used to 121 and so struggle with the size of class and the lack of tutoring at secondary, especially in a grammar school. Also consider whether a more challenging primary would be more rewarding. Visit a few schools and put her name on some waiting lists.

hesterton Tue 31-Jan-17 06:02:26

In London, tutoring for 6 yr olds for 7+ & 8+ is a big thing - it's a higher demand area than 11+ thanks to a great shortage of 'top' prep school places vs numbers who want those places.

For a 5 or 6 yr old, tutoring should be fun and games focused. At the weekend or in the holidays if possible and if you really think it's needed - drilling a little child like that is counter-productive, especially after a long day at school.

smellyboot Tue 31-Jan-17 08:04:50

Tutoring a child at 4 for phonics ?!?! That makes me very sad. Loads don't even start until 5 and most catch up with peers even if others get it quicker.
However I also believe in children being children so wouldnt entertain it. Give them opportunities to learn sports / music / drama / dance instead. Challenge her that way and not with more academics so so young. The world needs rounded people who can cooperate and understand others.

BertrandRussell Tue 31-Jan-17 08:09:31

Why would you think about tutors before you talk to her teacher?

It's important to check when a young child says they are bored. Obviously sometimes they are- but sometimes it's a word they use to describe feelings they may not have words for. In some cases, it can actually mean the work is too hard for them- although probably not in this case.

Ginmummy1 Tue 31-Jan-17 09:10:10

My Y1 DD recently started saying she finds school work easy, or there is nothing to do once she’s completed the initial task and she has no ‘next steps’ and spends a lot of class time helping others or reading.

I spoke to the teacher who was very receptive, has reassessed her reading (they hardly ever hear her read!) and put her up a level, has added extension activities and is making sure there is always something to challenge DD. No doubt we’ll need to keep an eye on it over the years, but we’ve been happy with the teacher’s response, and DD is delighted that she now has her own ‘next steps’ and ‘three star’ challenges to do.

We’re not considering private for secondary, but we are in a grammar area and DD’s school, while ‘good’, is not particularly strong academically. I haven’t broached the subject with DH yet, but I would expect we’d need DD to get some tutoring in maths when she’s in Y5, as I don’t think the school will teach them ahead of the curriculum.

Meanwhile she goes to French classes and we do have some workbooks which she happily uses occasionally, but mainly we try to do interesting things at home and on holiday, and discuss topical issues etc. I was hoping that our input would be enough until Y5.

I’d definitely suggest starting by approaching the teacher. If she’s bored she’s either not concentrating or the teacher is not differentiating the work for her.

TeenAndTween Tue 31-Jan-17 09:37:28

If you get her a tutor, won't she then get even more bored in school if the school isn't differentiating correctly?
I think you need to focus on what is happening in school, and see what the differentiating is really like.

AlmostNQT Tue 31-Jan-17 10:10:46

I was very skeptical about tutoring a 4 year old at first (Reception age) but parents were very concerned about her being a summer baby and being so far behind.

I was adamant I didn't think she really needed it, but she attends a private school so the parents were even more worried she was so behind. I was a student teacher at the school and she was in my class, so she finds it more of treat that she gets to see me each week after I've left!

We don't do anything sat at a table, I play lots of fun phonics games with them and always make it very fun.

Autumnsky Tue 31-Jan-17 10:46:54

I think it really depend on the child and the area you live. Like we are in a no grammar school area, there are not many children having out of school tutoring during primary school. The competition to get into a good private secondary school is low.I think you can just start prepare your DC half year before the test. However, I heard horrible story about tutoring in London.

If you are not sending your DD to a super selective secondary school, then just do some extra at home yourself, make sure your DD is in top group and maybe start the tutoring in Y5.

Autumnsky Tue 31-Jan-17 10:52:47

Based on my own children and friend's children's experience, I don't believe there are many state school can really teach each individual student by their ability. Especially the outstanding primary school, they are really good to get most of their children to pass, but not to challenge their bright children. But I don't blame teacher at all, there are such a huge range of the ability of the children, it is too much to ask.

user1485861347 Tue 31-Jan-17 11:24:54

I am primary teacher and 11+ Tutor. I have tutored children as young as in year 1 where English is not their main language or perhaps they have gaps in phonics or writing. Typically you would hone in on the gaps that may affect 11+ when they are towards the end of year 4 and throughout year 5. In the term before the exam I would focus on exam practice with less time on the content learning, because by then the knowledge needs to be there really. I hope this helps. Maybe not for this year for you but for next!

christinarossetti Tue 31-Jan-17 14:28:33

Dear god. Since when did young children need 'tutoring' to pick up a new or second language? They're exposed to it all day every day. Get them involved in different activities, reading, talking and of course they'll pick up English.

OP, I do appreciate your concerns about whether your child will have their educational needs met when they attend a school in a deprived area. I'm in the same situation, although my children are older than yours.

My advice would be to speak to the teacher about how your dd is actually doing and whether there is anything that they would suggest that you support her with at home. Do lots of interesting, fun stuff at weekends and holidays. Introduce her to a musical instrument, dance, gymnastics etc.

And remember that plenty of children from 'deprived' backgrounds are very, very clever indeed. Aside from selective schools, all schools have a 'mixed ability' intake. Don't assume that children who have EAL or are in receipt of FSM are not also 'very bright', just like your dd.

hibbledobble Tue 31-Jan-17 22:15:53

Lots of interesting replies here, thank you.

I haven't spoken to her teacher as I don't want to be 'that parent'. It's reassuring to hear that it is something that should be discussed.

We are doing a lot to work on her concentration at home, and she is improving.

She does lots of extracurricular activities, entirely led by her and what she enjoys. She is bilingual, and I'm trying to start her learning an instrument too.

She is reading year 3-4 books currently, and loves both the challenge and more 'grown up' story line. This is led by her too.

The local schools are super selective for secondary, and test on English and Maths as well as verbal and non verbal reasoning.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 31-Jan-17 22:25:43

If she's bright and has some exam / technique before the exam, she should do very well. If you "need" to tutor before Year 5, a grammar school is not really the right school.

christinarossetti Wed 01-Feb-17 06:59:42

You won't be 'that parent's if you ask your dd's teacher how you can help her at home!

That:s and pretty standard question.

It sounds as though you're doing lots of stuff, so it:s probably a matter of continuing with that and considering tutoring much closer to secondary school.

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