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Tutoring for reception children(20 Posts)
I have just realized that in our school quite a few parents at our school are sending their reception children to places like Kumon, Explore Learning, etc. Is that a thing these days?? I was shocked to hear that your average 4-5 year old needs tutoring at this age. What am I missing?
My ds is due to start reception in September and I’ve noticed that other parents with kids his age are teaching their kids to read and write. With the tutoring it’s similar - parents concerned about their kids getting a good education, wanting to make sure they don’t fall behind, that they’re the best they can be, academically.
I personally wouldn’t do it as I think reception is hard enough work as it is and it’s good for kids to simply play and do their own thing outside of it. I’d wait til my kids were older before doing any extra academic stuff with them (unless they initiated it). They learn a lot through play at this age and I’d rather they were playing than inside a kumon centre. Everyone’s different though aren’t they. Maybe some of these parents didn’t get enough academic support themselves when they were children and they want something different for their own kids.
Let them play. There's plenty of time for them to start learning properly, and that is at school.
You can do stuff at home, but really basic like colours and counting simple things - you can do that in the supermarket when you're choosing fruit and veg and other stuff like having containers of different sizes in the bath for them to experiment with pouring and what-not.
Don't start teaching them to read and write in earnest unless you know how they will be taught those subjects when they get to school, and you can follow their methods.
* They learn a lot through play at this age and I’d rather they were playing than inside a kumon centre. Everyone’s different though aren’t they.*
Absolutely... and one of the differences is that some children are ready to learn to read at 4/5 but some aren't. For such kids, 'tutoring' them sounds counterproductive, if you feel they should be doing something 'educational' they'd probably be better playing with construction toys or looking for bugs under rocks etc. Or doing cooking with mum (or the nanny) - practical maths. Or having more interesting books than children this age could possibly manage read to them.
Maybe there's a case for tutoring some kids later if there's evidence they're not fulfilling their potential but at this age it sounds misguided.
We are sending my 6 year old to one of those mentioned. It’s made the difference from her not liking maths, saying it’s hard, she hates it, to pleading to go to “maths club” at the weekend and feeling confident in the subject. It’s given her a love of a subject that I didn’t know how to help her with, and as someone who grew up slightly fearing maths myself, I think that’s worth something.
There can be significant differences developmentally between a 4/5 yo and 6 though.
Reception age is too soon to push 'late developers', imo. If they're after school then chances are the little kid will be tired and if it's at the weekend then it's likely to be at the expense of other activities.
Oh god, no please don't. Just the usual homework that gets sent home from reception is ridiculous. It was about an hour a day. They'll be exhausted just doing the bare minimum. Let them go outside and play in mud when they get home.
I don't see anything wrong with trying to give your child the best education possible, I guess what I am struggling to understand is the need to put your 4-5 year old in front of a computer program and to consider this "good education". It's not like they will be "behind" - at this stage there is no such thing as behind in my view, kids just develop at different stages and a computer program isn't going to help with this.
I completely understand the need for during extra work if you are preparing for specific exams or if your child struggles in a particular area or if they are ahead of the work done at school and need that extra stretch. I just don't see how this can be evident at this young age and particularly in reception when the most important thing is for kids to understand the routine, to build their confidence and overall to develop a positive attitude to learning and to school.
Our school doesn’t give homework at all, so we don’t have that to contend with.
My DC are now 24 and 26 but I was shocked to find parents sent DC for tutoring at a Saturday morning club at the age of 5 when I got to know other YR parents. Only a handful and they tended to be pretty bright DC. Not the ones that got to Oxbridge though! Mine never went but DD1 was ready to read at 4 and I trusted the school. Others seem so be so desperate for success I’m not sure these DD have much play at all.
By the way it is very well known fact that children start school behind their peers if they are disadvantaged. However these don’t have parents paying for tutoring!
Depends what you mean by disadvantaged. Other children start school behind their peers because they are almost an entire year younger, and no amount of tutoring is going to change their date of birth.
Reception children certainly don’t need to be tutored. It can actually have a detrimental effect in the long term as the learning can be quite narrow and they can come unstuck later. For example, children who are taught one written method for maths may excel to start with but when the learning requires greater depth, and an ability to explain and reason about mathematical concepts, they tend to come unstuck.
Reception children should be learning through play and engagement in collaborative tasks.
OP I totally agree with you, creative free play is SO important for brain development and also for fun! I have lived in the UK, Germany and am now back in the USA. There is a worldwide fear everywhere of kids not being at the head of the pack academically, the result is so many children spending excessive amount of time doing STEM focused subjects especially. I have 3 teens and my eldest just got into Uni here in the US. I was quite shocked walking around the streets close to campus how things have changed. This Uni has become extremely competitive since we moved to the US. There were hoards of kids, all looking very serious and intense and the SAME. My dd was shocked too and although academic has decided to “rush” which means join a Sorority (sisterhood living together) because we were both very concerned at the apparent lack of creativity and fun.
I know for a fact that a number of local companies that are worldwide leaders in technology are interviewing people asking them to describe their childhoods and how much time they spent building and playing creatively without supervision. This is because we are starting to breed out creativity. Great engineers, medics and technics to be higher level thinkers need to be creative thinkers.
I would actually add more FUN and creative activities than STEM, especially at such young ages. Worldwide we are starting to create very similar types and employers are worried. So go against the grain, your kids will thank you and their minds will be capable of much higher level thought if they keep using their hands and bodies. Don’t shut them down in front of a computer. Make stuff, run around, swim, dance, play, explore.
In case you think I am a clueless hippy my husband is a neurologist and I have been an Executive Recruiter for high level positions such a head of engineering, head of operations, CFO. Etc.
Disadvantaged are those on free school meals. Not young in year group. Some might be the same DC.
IdaB: you are spot on. DC seem bright but not able to problem solve or think creatively.
When I was teaching reception I had two children in my class who had tutoring and both were totally demotivated at school (I believe) as a result. They really needed downtime and a nice early bedtime so they could engage in school.
Cuddles and stories. Lots and lots of cuddles and stories.
In early years learning to read is the vital skill. Best way to teach kids to read is for them to desperately want to learn to read.
So important thing is to ensure they know that the entire exciting world can be found inside a book.
So lots of cuddles and stories.
* I would actually add more FUN and creative activities than STEM, especially at such young ages.*
False dichotomy, a lot of fun and creative activities are STEM whether the child - or parent for that matter - realises it or not! If STEM isn't fun and creative you're doing it wrong.
I agree with Mumoftwoyoungkids. Develop a love of stories and they will want to read and before you know it they can be teaching themselves. Tutoring at that age is too formal and restrictive.
Don't worry you are missing nothing - the parents of the 4-5 year old tutored children are the ones missing something. There is nothing more rewarding than spending time with your own children playing something which helps them learn new things by themselves.