Private home tuition in Singapore can be a bit of a minefield. Check out these expert tips on finding home tutors you can trust.
Private home tuition is all the rage in Singapore these days, and more and more parents are reaching out to qualified experts who can help their children hone their academic and personal skills. But what should Mum and Dad be on the look out for when considering private home tuition in Singapore? We caught up with Emma Beckford, Managing Director of The Language Boutique (TLB), to get her expert advice on private home tuition, how it can benefit all children (regardless of their grades) and why it’s important that you do your research before choosing a provider.
Private Home Tuition in Singapore: Q&A with Emma Beckford
SB: What exactly is private home tuition and what’s the first thing parents can expect to happen when they enlist the services of a private tutor in Singapore?
TLB: Put simply, private home tuition is extra help for children who need support in a school subject, or a particular topic such as phonics or fractions. Many families in Singapore are using home tutors, but making sure you find the right fit and that the teaching standard is high isn’t easy.
When parents first start reaching out to tuition centres they should establish what qualifications the teachers have. The centres with the best teachers should be happy to share the background of their staff and will offer the student a trial class to begin with.
SB: Some parents may feel that because their child is doing well at school, he or she won’t benefit from private tuition. Is this true?
TLB: Parents use tutoring services for a whole host of reasons these days. The standards that children are expected to meet at school in Singapore are getting higher and higher on an annual basis. However, private tuition is about much more than basic maths, science and languages, it’s also about helping children to develop confidence, emotional maturity and self-worth. At The Language Boutique, helping our students develop a love for learning is just as important as helping them to achieve academically.
SB: So, private tuition can benefit kids across the board. What signs should parents look out for which may show that their children could benefit from extra private tuition?
TLB: Every child is different. As such, it’s difficult to list all the potential situations in which tutoring may be suitable. However, you should keep an eye out to see if there is a drop in your child’s confidence, you are hearing that their schoolwork is too easy or too difficult, you find that they have less interest in learning than before, or that they appear demotivated. These are all signs that he or she may benefit from a little extra one-on-one help and support.
SB: What are the benefits of private home tuition as opposed to large group classes?
Signing your children up for bespoke private tuition gives them access to lessons and learning interventions that are specifically tailored to their learning style. In many contemporary classrooms, children compete for the teacher’s attention with up to 20-30 peers but it will be no surprise that young learners can actually really thrive when they are given personalised attention. Away from the pressures of the classroom, one-on-one tuition can build children’s confidence and provide the personal help they need to achieve their full potential, all within the comfort of their home environment.
Alongside our private tuition, we do also offer group courses during school holidays and weekends, but we keep the classes small with a maximum of six students in each one. This ensures that every child receives dedicated attention from the teacher.
SB: What techniques do private tutors use to tailor lessons?
TLB: Obviously we can’t answer for other tuition centres in Singapore but the tutors at The Language Boutique work hard to ensure that the subject matter is relevant and that each lesson is a combination of academic exercises, games and creative activities. We always offer to carry out an assessment with new students so that our teachers can determine where they need extra support, or a boost, and how best to structure the lessons. Not only do we keep in constant contact with parents, but we are also happy to work directly with our student’s schoolteachers. This collaborative approach ensures that the lessons are tailored properly and that the students are enjoying the journey on the way to achieving their learning goals.
SB: What questions should a parent ask when looking for a suitable private home tuition service in Singapore?
TLB: Parents should make sure they ask the following when considering private home tution
1. How long has the tutoring company been in business? Ideally, you are looking for a provider that has an established track record, with long-standing clients.
2. Are the tutors all suitably qualified? What experience do they have? Ask to see evidence of qualifications if you are in any doubt.
3. Can the tutor provide references? It’s vital that you check the references of any provider in advance of arranging home tuition.
4. Does the tutor offer to conduct as assessment of your child? The best tutors are those who will assess your child’s needs before developing a tutoring plan that is specifically tailored to their learning requirements.
SB: Please tell us more about The Language Boutique and what you do specifically?
TLB: We feel that The Language Boutique is unique in Singapore because we combine first-rate teaching techniques with a professional yet personal service. We offer classes in English, Mandarin and Maths (we have recently started to offer Science as well) and we teach from the ages of 3 to 18. Our personalised programmes are designed to suit any child’s interests, learning needs and academic goals. Whether the student is in pre-school, primary school, high school, or has special needs, rest-assured that we’re well equipped and ready to help maximise their potential.
SB: So, what’s next for the Language Boutique?
TLB: We have recently launched a brand new website which explains what we teach and our unique approach, which we’re really proud of – check it out here: The Language Boutique
As well as our summer courses going on at the moment we’ve got a summer promotion running where you can get 12 lessons for the price of 10!
The Language Boutique has an exciting 2016 summer camp programme on offer and are running a number of small group courses which will include some of the Language Boutique’s most popular courses, such as Fun with Phonics, Maths Madness and Reading Explorers.