Who uses an international private tutor?
Many families either live overseas or travel frequently. The option of leaving their children at home at boarding school may not appeal and it is likely that they will instead enroll them at an international school. This can be problematic because of different teaching standards and the frequent turnover of students and staff.
In cases like this, many parents use an international tutor to ensure that their child receives the best education possible, while retaining the benefit of having their children close to them and exposing them to new and exciting cultures.
If your child has a learning difficulty they may be better served by a qualified international tutor than by local supplementary providers. Also, if you are preparing for specific entry tests for a UK school such as the UKiset, 11+ or 13+ Common Entrance, you need to have a tutor who understands those tests. Preferably, you want someone who is familiar with the type of schools you are hoping to send your child to.
In addition to helping your children with their studies, tutors can act as mentors, especially if parents are absent for long periods of time. It is important to find a tutor who is an excellent match for your children and family, both on a personal and professional level. The tutor will be spending a great deal of time with your children, so it is essential that the chemistry is right.
Some international tutors will be prepared to contribute to tasks that fall outside the classroom, such as school drop-offs and pick-ups, helping to organise birthday parties and play dates. Others will insist on a clear division between academic and pastoral care. It really is important to remember that your tutor will often become a part of the family, rather than just someone who turns up for a few hours to educate your children.
Different types of international private tutor
There are two main types of international private tutor: those who live with you in a fixed location (residential tutors) and those that accompany you on your travels (travelling tutors). The type that is most appropriate for you will depend on the needs of your children and your family’s lifestyle.
A residential tutor lives with your family and provides tuition as and when required. In the case of full-time residential tutoring, the tutor provides a home schooling environment and children do not attend the local international school. Alternatively, the tutor can also provide after school and weekend tuition, and the child remains at school.
In many countries, there is a shortage of suitably qualified SEN/SPLD (Specific Educational Needs/Specific Learning Difficulty) teachers. Consequently, the prospect of home schooling delivered by an experienced SEN/SPLD residential tutor is appealing. This is particularly appropriate for children who need ongoing specialist support because of learning difficulties such as dyslexia, Asperger’s syndrome, dyscalculia, attention deficit disorder or other learning difficulties.
International residential tutors have different qualifications and skill sets to regular hourly private tutors. They have to live and work with families across the world and become an extension of the family. Above all, they have to be flexible and adaptable.
International tutors are often highly experienced generalist educators, so if your child needs help in various subjects, you will only need one tutor, instead of having to work with multiple tutors to cover different topics. In some cases however, particularly for older children, you will need a specialist subject tutor.
International private tutors can also work as a supplement to your child’s existing school. For example, if your child is currently attending an international school but requires some extra help in a particular area, you can employ a residential tutor that works with your child in the evenings and on weekends. You can also hire a tutor just for a few weeks during the holidays.
Residential tutors do not have to live with your family. Many parents prefer to provide accommodation a short distance away from the family home. This option works particularly well with part-time residential tutors that will work with children outside of the regular school hours.