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Tutoring - DIY

(22 Posts)
MsGus Sun 03-Jul-16 18:09:00


I would like to tutor my son myself. He is 5. I spend time with him doing his homework and supplementing that with other activities.

I do not want to pay for tutoring and I am happy to put the time and effort in to help him myself.

Grateful for advice on how to provide him with the equivalent help that a tutor would. Do tutors use particular tools, books, techniques, etc?


PurpleDaisies Sun 03-Jul-16 18:11:25

What would you expect a tutor to do with your son? Is he struggling with anything at school?

eyebrowsonfleek Sun 03-Jul-16 18:28:40

It's difficult for people to recommend books, websites or other resources without clarification on your goals.
Is he struggling in one subject or do you want to deepen his understanding? Maths? Writing? Spelling? Comprehension?

MsGus Sun 03-Jul-16 19:23:20

You are right to ask 'why'.

He is not struggling but I would like to strengthen his understanding of Maths in particular.

PurpleDaisies Sun 03-Jul-16 20:45:05

If he's doing well in school I wouldn't tutor a five year old at home. I'd download mathematical games onto an tablet, take him to museums and let him do hands on things but five year olds really don't need formal tutoring unless there's an actual issue.

MsGus Sun 03-Jul-16 20:51:57

Thanks. I worry that everyone is or will soon be tutoring their kids and I do not want him to be left behind.

I hear so much about tutoring and it seems the norm these days.

PlugUgly Sun 03-Jul-16 20:54:48

You are kidding right? He is 5!!! He won't get 'left behind' but might get put off learning if you hothouse him at such a young age

PurpleDaisies Sun 03-Jul-16 20:57:25

I hear so much about tutoring and it seems the norm these days.

It really isn't. You're much better letting him enjoy his education in school and keeping your relationship with him as mother not tutor (I'm a private tutor-it's a really hard balance to get right...hence why I have so much business!).

PETRONELLAS Sun 03-Jul-16 21:07:12

There are some great board games that encourage problem solving/strategic thinking or even just extend concentration (Carcasonne, Cluedo, Chess, London Game, Qwirkle, Ingenious). I also think comprehension activities would 'top up' his learning. I love a bit of hot housing packaged up as fun...large class sizes, teachers on performance related pay all mean your/my DS might not be a priority and doing what you can if you've the time, skills, resources is surely not a negative.

MsGus Sun 03-Jul-16 21:40:40

Thanks. Plug, I am not thinking about nor do I intend to hothouse him. I am simply saying that if tutoring is the norm then it makes sense for me to provide him with the necessary support. That does not equal hothousing.

Thanks Petronellas and Purples for your advice. I am making the time and will continue to make the time to support his learning and generally take an interest in his school work. I am keen to ensure I operate by stealth rather than outright pressure.

eyebrowsonfleek Sun 03-Jul-16 22:01:08

Tutoring is "normal" if your child is struggling or taking an exam within the next year. For state school children, that would be y5 (age 9/10).

Board games, Lego and Minecraft are good for improving mental maths by stealth. I believe that Lego is the reason that ds1 learned his tables accidentally. He describes Lego pieces by how many dots on top and knew that a 4x2 brick had 8 dots etc

Notcontent Sun 03-Jul-16 22:06:56

I know lots of really "pushy" parents and high achieving children (probably including me...) and quite honestly I don't think tutoring at this age is usual! The only exception to that is if your child is in a state school but planning to sit a 7+ for a selective private school - in that case you might need a few sessions with a tutor. But otherwise I just suggest playing some maths games at home!

MsGus Sun 03-Jul-16 22:25:45

I may indeed be mistaken. I am glad to learn that I am. I've read a lot about tutoring here and hear parents talking about it. Granted it is usually about kids older than 5.

Autumnsky Mon 04-Jul-16 11:54:36

Maybe not use the word tutoring. Just keep an eye on child's education. As other post mentioned, if you are not aim at 7+ entry exam, then there are not much to do at this stage. I think the main task is to read with your DS everyday at the moment, help him reinforce his phonics learning at school and do some simple math games.

If you like, you can buy some work sheet to do with him, maybe 10 minutes every day, you can do math 1 day and English the other day. Although some mum think these are not necessary, but some children may like it. The worksheet are nornally designed very well, with colourful pictures. My DS finished 1 book in a few days, as he liked it. If you DS doesn't like it, then leave it till Y3 or Y4.

Ginmummy1 Mon 04-Jul-16 13:24:24

I agree with the general responses.

My DD is also 5, in Reception. She doesn't get much homework, but her latest half-termly homework book contained some word maths problems. She's a good reader and raced through these and loved them, so yesterday we visited a bookshop and she chose a maths workbook containing similar sorts of things. It looks to be well designed for the younger child - colourful with appealing pictures and stickers. It does not look too hard: more about consolidation than learning new things.

She happily completed the first couple of pages of activities yesterday. I hope she will enjoy it and choose to do more over the holidays, but I certainly won't make her.

I'm trying to encourage a desire for learning and facilitate this with materials where they seem appropriate, but not push at this early age.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Mon 04-Jul-16 13:28:03

Is tutoring the norm? I don't think so. I know people have their children tutored for specific exams or scholarships, but at the age of five, that's not likely.

I wonder bother, unless you're unhappy with his education, in which case I'd be taking that up with his school and considering an alternative if you remain unhappy.

PlymouthMaid1 Mon 04-Jul-16 13:35:27

I wouldn't tutor a 5 year old formally unless he was falling behind but I would bring education into as many of our activities at home as possible but he wouldn't notice. For example get him involved in cooking projects with you (time, measurement, reading recipes when older, practical skills) , ask him about stories you read (what will happen next? what does that word mean?), get him to write stories or letters to relatives, his toys etc.

Just some ideas but keep it informal.

RosesareSublime Mon 04-Jul-16 13:56:52

Op I got my DD those fun maths books with fairys and goblins ( amazon) and left them round, she picked them up and did them of her own accord and in her own time during the holidays, they were not far different to the normal childrens magazines.

I also helped her to get her tables quite early on, learning one or two - each holiday. She loved number snakes. never ever pushed or made her sit down, I just got stuff and left it out.

I never learned my tables and I remember how much it set me back so I have been especially keen to help her there.
By the way op, my DD is one of oldest in the class and I would not say she was behind her peers in anyway, but lets just say she didn't blossom until she was 7. I have been much more relaxed than other DP at the school, I have over heard convos stressing about so many issues.

I helped her get her tables, provided exciting books for her to read, took her to theater, museums etc etc etc. And most of all, been enthusiastic about learning and never made it like a chore...good luck!

passmyglass Mon 04-Jul-16 14:01:12

Cook/bake with him. Understanding of units of measure is often lacking even in very able kids... And it is harder to practise regularly in a practical manner at school with a class of 30 kids.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 04-Jul-16 14:16:25

If you want to boost his maths then just keep talking to him about the numbers that crop up in everyday life. As you walk down the street talk about odd and even house numbers. When serving a meal, ask him to share the food out equally by counting. Talk to him about money and change, who has got most money Mummy with her £1 coin or DS with his pile of coppers (I bet he chooses the pile of coppers). Do cooking and weighing with him. Teach him to read the time.
Don't get yourselves bogged in tutoring, just enjoy the time you spend together and make maths normal and fun.

sazzleevans Thu 29-Jun-17 10:35:22

I know lots of parents get tutors and keep it under the radar. I think it isnt worth considering until at least year 3 or 4 and then only if there is an issue. Why not sign him up for a few online maths and language apps. Like doodle maths this will help you know where he is at.

StealthNinjaMum Thu 13-Jul-17 23:31:59

It depends on where you live as to how much tutoring there is. I live in a posh area with super pushy parents (super selective grammar schools and prestigious private schools). I know plenty of people who have had their children tutored from year 1 or 2 or signed them up to kumon.

It is hard as a parent not to become anxious about your child's education when everyone around you is spending money on tutors and kumon for their children.

My youngest Dd is slightly behind at school so I will be spending 10 minutes a day with her doing stuff to reinforce number bonds, place value, doubling, measuring, telling the time to o clock and half past and I might see if apps do this.

She's also behind with her reading so we'll be reading every day for 10 minutes and watching videos on YouTube on any diagraphs she struggles with.

Also I agree that you need to build these things into every day life so todays supermarket trip was a mini maths and literacy lesson until dd sulked when I wouldn't buy her a toy and I am trying to encourage dd to handle money in shops but she doesn't really get it.

I have just remembered oldest dd1 learnt her numbers to 100 playing a big snakes and ladders game. Must get that out tomorrow for dd2 and find all the board games in fact. Sum swamp is a good one and you can also buy 10 sided dice (die?) from Amazon to make games test addition up to 10.

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