Extra lessons for kids – a necessary expense?

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Annie Joubert

e=mc on chalkboardOur village or small town (this is a bone of contention which I’ll cover in another blog – facilities-wise it’s a village, population-wise it’s a small town) is well-served with schools: there are two 1st schools (aged three to nine), a Middle School (children aged nine to 12) and a High School for the older kids.

In conversation with my neighbours during the summer (we call them the Travel Addicts – their cv would read “Doting grandparents, retired, enjoy several holidays a year”), they revealed that their grand-daughter was having extra maths lessons so that when she moved up from 1st school to Middle, she wouldn’t be left behind.

Initially I clucked sympathetically and told Mrs TA that she should be proud that the family acknowledged their seven year-old’s struggle with positive action by way of the extra lessons; “money well spent”, I remember saying.

Further conversation revealed that Mrs TA’s grand-daughter isn’t the only child from that school having extra maths lessons; our younger neighbours up the road, and their friends round the corner, are also paying out for extra maths lessons for their respective eight year-olds.

It would be completely wrong of me to pass any kind of opinion in the absence of the full details – such as, is there something wrong with the 1st school’s teaching of maths, are the classes too big, are the kids better perhaps at English, or is it a “keeping up with the Einsteins” exercise? And how much do these extra cost, and how frequent are they?

When I was relaying this to MyFamilyClub’s Creative Genius, father-of-two Jamie, he was telling me that where he lives, the parents have clubbed together so that the extra lessons aren’t individual, there are three or four kids “buddying”.

What a really good idea! Even if there are only 20 kids per class, extra lessons for four at the same age and stage still provides focused teaching. And it reduces the weekly bill significantly.

So any parents out there facing the same dilemma, find more parents and share the resource and the expense – you can also take it in turns to “host” the event!