First post here so apologies if it should be on another board.
DS is 11 y/o and came back from a birthday party talking about tutoring. Apparently, one of the boys has recently started with someone called 1209 (does anyone know of this company?) and was very impressed with the tutoring and field trips to Oxbridge. DH and I have so far hired tutoring for DS through friends' children but we are now considering outside help. Does anyone have any experience moving from "friendly" to professional tutoring around this age?
Some background information: We are for now primarily thinking about maths tutoring and have set aside money to afford the higher professional fees - within reason - should we choose to go with that option. DS is a bright and motivated child, with hopes of studying science, maths, computer science or similar at university.
First of all welcome, hope you find what you are looking for here.
Unfortunately, DH and I are not familiar with 1209 so I cannot help you there. However, we were in the same situation as you 5 years ago when DD was 8.
We started hiring tutors for DD when she was 5 - neighbours' children helped us out - but decided after a few years to switch to more experienced and professional tutors. Following this, we tried different private tutors and agencies until we found a good fit.
I would definitely recommend going away from friends for your DS at age 11, as long as you have money to pay the steeper fee, as this was a very good move for our DD.
Before hiring a tutor, firstly define the objective. At secondary level, tutoring is most helpful for short-term support, either to boost confidence or to achieve an exam result necessary for the next stage.
You mentioned he has an interest in degree courses in Maths, Science (physical sciences?) or Computer Science. As you know, these are Maths-heavy courses, requiring a strong aptitude for Maths and a love of the subject.
If he needs Maths tutoring in order to be on track for grade 8+ at Maths GCSE, a Maths-heavy degree is not a feasible idea.
Tul, you mention you tried multiple agencies and tutors before finding "the right fit". How would you suggest going about this entire process? Of couse, ideally, we would prefer to find the right person from the start, but I do appreciate that this might be difficult. Maybe an agency is the best way to go about this? I will keep asking around for the socalled "1209" tutoring agency.
TheThird, DS is indeed very interested in maths-heavy-courses and I am sure with the right tutoring and passion that he can succeed. Just to clarify, DS does not per se "need" tutoring to be on track - we just want to stimulate his curiosity and give him the best possible foundation.
I find it a bit odd for a tutoring agency to run field trips to Oxbridge. I presume that's for older students? There's a lot of fairly rubbish agencies out there and "jobbing" tutors who will drop you once they pick up an acting gig etc. Your best bet is a teacher who either writes or marks the papers in the schools you are targeting. Better agencies with qualified teachers will be your best bet.
SuperPug, thanks a lot for your input. I agree, the field trips are probably for slightly older students. But I do not really know much about it and have not been able to find anything about the agency online.
I have heard of those "jobbing" tutors and am indeed very worried about bumping into those. Therefore - and with the recommendations here - I believe a good agency is our best bet. In terms of the money, we have already set aside enough for the tuition (at least with reasonable fees) so that should not be an issue.
Okay, so I have done some digging around and found a site that could be what you are referring to. There's something called 1209 Oxbridge but doesn't have much information - so I'm not even exactly sure if it's tutoring - and they are not taking new clients it seems. Anyway, at least we probably solved the mystery now!
Unless he's falling behind, in which case a Maths heavy degree is unlikely to be a possibility, save your money till he's at GCSE stage and you know which subjects need most input. If he's a capable mathematician he doesn't need tutoring now. Oxbridge trips are an irrelevance at age 11. If he fancies visiting take him yourself.