Is it right to tutor 4 year olds?

We have seen a sudden influx of enquiries from parents who put children as young as 4 years old into tuition.

Improve Tuition has advised that children should not start tuition until they are six.

Instead play-based learning common in nurseries and reception classes should continue until six years old. There is strong research to say that formal learning can do some harm at early ages. 

“In many cases parents are putting children into tutoring with the assumption that the younger children advance more when the reverse is actually the case and the results can be very destructive,” says Gulam Dabhad, Education Expert. 

It is more necessary to start tuition at the right age.

“Starting at a very young age can have negative implications. A good age to start is six, and once a week, one hour tutoring is fine,” says Sofia from Improve Tuition.

“I moved from the UK to Sweden with my four children. My older two have gone through the UK system and my younger two are going through the Swedish system. The wide choice of activities available here until 7 has made me very impressed and I don’t see how the later start has disadvantaged my younger two,” says Mark, Sweden to the BBC.

“Massive formal tutoring is never the answer at such a young age,” said Mr Gulam Dabhad. “There is the wrong belief among some parents that tutoring will help children and this is not always the case.

“Unfortunately, many tutors look at financial gain. We regularly recommend a balanced approach and we always advise parents and try and deter them to take tuition at 4 and 5 years old.”

“Tutoring is most successful when parents have to be involved in their children’s education

“Reading to their child or helping them with their times tables is helpful and the best results are achieved when parents partner with the tutor along with the child above six.”

Improve’s top seven tips for parents
1. Don’t put pressure. Don’t overburden your child with endless tutoring sessions at a young age.
2. Do not hire a tutor for a child under six years old
3. Choose a tutor who has a proven track record. 
4. Tutoring should not exceed two to three times a week.
5. If you do engage a tutor, ask for regular reports on a child’s progress. 
6. When your child gets homework, don’t get the tutor to help. It’s a way of teachers assessing you child so let your child make the mistakes to learn from.
7. Don’t’ pass on the whole responsibility of your child’s learning to a tutor; read to your child; help them learn the times tables at home – effuse them – excite them.

Gulam Dabhad (Education Expert)