Ever since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2002, school administrators have felt pressured to churn out increasingly higher test scores with each passing year. Naturally, this pressure gets passed on to the students who take the tests, and their parents are not immune either. In fact, it is estimated that parents, in an effort to help their stressed out and overworked children, spend up to $8 billion a year on private tutoring. And the client base is getting younger and younger. Twenty percent of those enrolled at SCORE! Learning Centers are between 4 and 6 years old. But some parents are still holding out – they believe preschoolers are too young to have their own personal tutors. They should be playing, not filling out an endless stream of worksheets, they say. But tutoring doesn’t have to onerous, it doesn’t have to be stressful, and it certainly doesn’t have to be an endless stream of worksheets. Here are just five ways both you and your 4-year-old child could benefit from a private tutor:

To prepare them for kindergarten

As a result of the new government-imposed academic standards, kindergarten children are given less playtime and more standardized testing. Young children are now expected to know how to read before they enter the first grade. If their reading skills are not up to par, they could be held back. The University of Miami analyzed over 29 studies and found that one-on-one and small group tutoring are equally effective in improving young children’s reading skills. But parents should be careful not to bombard their children with tutoring sessions, as this could cause them to learn too much too fast and become bored in school.

To boost their self-esteem

Most parents hire a private tutor anticipating only academic benefits, but tutoring has emotional benefits as well. Learning a new skill such as adding or subtracting can provide children with a sense of achievement, and praise from the tutor can translate into a self-esteem boost for young students.

To inspire a lifelong love of learning

A good tutor will try his or her hardest to make the material interactive and engaging. With the right tutor, students will realize that learning can be fun, and that it does not always have to be burdensome. Parents are often the first ones to plant this idea in their kids’ heads by reading to them night after night. But a good tutor can help nurture this approach to schoolwork and help it blossom into a lifelong love of learning.

To help them understand difficult concepts

Students of all ages are going to come across a concept they don’t understand every now and then, including four-year-olds. So why is it socially acceptable for parents to hire tutors for their upper-level students, but not for their younger kids? Consider hiring a private tutor for your child to help him with confusing material before he falls behind.

To make the most of your time

Parents often stop teaching their own children and start hiring tutors when the information starts to surpass their comfort zone (think: high school math). But tutors are also a great alternative for working moms and dads who, even though they are comfortable with the material, don’t have enough time to go over it in-depth with their children. But parents, don’t feel guilty – hiring a tutor does not mean you’re neglecting your child. You are simply practicing smart time management. You can still play an invaluable role in your child’s education by helping him with his homework and providing him with a supportive home environment.

The academic pressure is not letting up anytime soon and more and more parents are hiring tutors for their children. Give your child the benefits and tools he or she needs to succeed in a highly competitive school environment by calling a tutoring agency.

5 Questions To Ask A Tutoring Agency

5 Mistakes Made By Parents Of Students With Low Grades

NBC News: Tutoring Tots? Some Kids Prep for Kindergarten

Parenting.com: Will Your Preschooler Need A Tutor?

NY Times: Fast-tracking to Kindergarten?

Parents.com: Does Your Child Need A Tutor?

CBS News: Does Your Child Need A Tutor?

 

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