The Diary of Joni and Anya

Thursday, April 11, 2013

On wearing the Tutor Hat

As the eldest of three girls, I recall being assigned by my mother to teach my younger siblings how to read and write in preparation for school. Yes, you read it right: before they start school.

There is this funny notion (from where I came from) that kids must know how to read and write basic basic syllables in our native language & in English prior to entering kindergarten. The intense pressure and competition is palpable when it comes to schooling. And since my mother was working long hours, to feed the family, I was tasked to make sure my two sisters will not be put to shame on their first day of school.

It was frustrating tutoring them with their short attention spans but eventually I managed to, much to the satisfaction of my mother. It was an unpleasant experience for me that I was so not looking forward to going through it again with my own daughter. Luckily, the environment here in Australia is way different - there's less pressure to learn right away how to read or write and teachers are more forgiving.    What a happy moment it was when Anya came home one day able to read her 12 Golden words.

I though I was out of the woods. Turns out I was just given a short reprieve.

Since that first year in school, Anya required some help on occassion with her spelling or maths, science projects, essays etc. And as I have no excuse not to, I had to wear my private tutor hat once again. But because the teaching methods vary from what I know, there are many times when I fail and just get Anya more confuse. Very frustrating that sometimes I wish I can outsource this task to say, Hewlett private tutors. Or to my youngest sister, who is across the seas and works part time as a tutor to the neighborhood kids.

Speaking of private tutors, have you ever availed the service of one for yourself or for your child? What  was the experience like? I've  read about tutorspree (which is in the US) and am aware of similar local portals but is yet to meet anyone who actually availed of these sites. Any good recommendations?


River said...

I knew how to read before I started school, but not to write. I was too busy reading.
I never bothered with tutors for my kids, it didn't seem to be done back then unless your kids were really, really struggling. When I was young, school was easier and teachers had more time to go over the work several times to make sure the kids got it. Which was frustrating for kids like me (and later, my kids) who got it first time round. I think tutors are a great idea though, these days there is so much more to be done in the curriculum and there isn't always time for teachers to go over things more than once or twice. They have hectic schedules which flow on to the kids.

suzaku_lace said...

It was a torturous experience for me too! :p