Episode 28: My Opinion about a Better Alternative to “Tuition” for Your Child’s Learning Needs
What is” tuition” and does it really help to remediate your child’s learning issues?
In Kenya, a majority of parents who have children with delayed language skills or children who are falling behind in school tend to take their children what they call ‘tuition’
While many countries refer to tuition as “fees”, in Kenya, tuition is the additional individualised teaching a child receives to help them catch up or perform better in school. Tuition can also be offered to students in small groups.
Does ‘tuition’ help remediate learning issues?
The answer to this question is dependent on some factors that I will mention down below.
Tuition can help remediate your child’s learning issues because anything that is offered as a repetition or revision will always improve a child’s skills.
Tuition MAY FAIL to remediate your child’s learning issues if the reason why they are falling behind is not addressed and that what is being done is revision of the content that they have gone through in class. If the core issue has not been addressed, tuition will only end being a waste of time and money and frustrating on your child’s part.
I have mentioned in previous posts and in my online course for parents: Late-Talker’s Bootcamp about the early years and why they matter.
This is the best period for setting a strong language foundation. and this is when your child is between 0-3 years of age.
0-3 years in a sense is like the foundation of the building, your child here being the building.
Why the early years matter
As mentioned above, the early years are important for foundation building and so for the children who start school not having the requisite language or vocabulary that is expected of them at that age, it becomes difficult for them to catch up to their age matched peers
There is also research around how children who start school with delayed language skills will never really catch up to their age matched peers and if you don’t believe this, just think about when you were in school, doing chemistry or physics and you were just shaking your head wondering why none of was making sense while your classmate who is reading a novel under the desk during class is understanding more than you are.
The reason why your classmate who student reading the novel under the desk is understanding what is being taught more than you is largely because they had a good foundation. This might also be the reason why children of teachers out-perform other students.
Children who do not have a good foundation in say basic addition, might struggle with the concept of multiplication and division.
These gaps, always sort of just keep compounding as your child gets older or advances in grade.
Why ‘tuition’ might fail to remediate your child’s learning issues
You now see the importance of a good foundation. And so the reason why ‘tuition’ might fail to help your child with their learning issues is because tuition focuses on the level/grade that your child is in and not necessarily on the things that they may have missed in the early grades.
For example, if your child is in grade 3, which is when you start to notice the formation of learning disorders because this is the grade where there is a steep jump in cognitive expectations in all subjects. For example if your child was only writing sentences, in grade three, they are expected to write a whole composition or essay.
The learning process is a lot more complex from grade 3 and if your child then goes and has tuition, what tuition will just do is fix the third grade. Instead of going back to fix the core issues that will ensure a strong foundation going forward.
‘Tuition’ only just puts a band-aid on a burned wound. It only covers the problem at hand without really fixing the main issue.
A better alternative would be to have your child evaluated by a speech therapist or an education psychologist and figure out what the specific areas of difficulties are and then you go in and firm those up. If you firm those up, then everything else will develop pretty well and pretty smoothly.
So that is my long answer to whether ‘tuition’ works for children with learning disorder, whether it remediates delays and what you can do about it if you want to fix your child’s learning issues once and for all.
What you do is get a proper evaluation, work out what the areas of difficulties are, remediate them to help your child establish a good foundation for all other learning and really all other learning depends on all the prerequisite learning milestones that your child is meeting or achieving at each of the different levels.