EDUCATION: How to ensure your children are lifelong learners

CARFAX Education UAE on private tuition.

There are several reasons for families to consider expert tuition for their children, given the enormous proven benefits. However, could there potentially be negative aspects to private tutoring? Clare Preston, Director of Studies at Carfax Tutors Dubai, discusses the pros and cons.

The rise of  ‘grade hysteria’ puts pressure on parental expectations and on pupils to be at the top of the class, all to secure their academic future.

Managing expectations can be challenging, and the pressure on tutors to help children get these grades quickly can sometimes take precedence over slow and steady progression.

Learning is where pupils pick up skills, think critically, discover their passions, and develop their curiosity through being challenged.

When grades are prioritised over skills, tutors are often a ‘go-to’ solution. However, in this situation, there can be a temptation to provide an overly supportive ‘hand holding’ culture which can ultimately lead to an over-dependency on tutors. This can deprive pupils of the satisfaction of achieving things by their own efforts, enabled by prompts and encouragement from their mentor.

Knowing this and combatting it is what separates a good tutor from a bad tutor.

Clare shares the team’s top tips on how they mentor pupils to be curious, independent, self-motivated, and skilled learners.


Role Play


Once you have covered a topic, you can swap roles and tell the pupil to be the teacher. Tutors also advocate encouraging pupils to pick out the key points and do some extra research on these areas, ready to answer a range of questions that the tutor might pose.

Making the lessons interactive ensures pupils are engaging with the material. Being ready to summarise content and give oral feedback or written answers, shows that pupils have understood and applied their new knowledge outside of the context in which they are learning.


Problem Solving


For Maths, you could test whether students have understood the concept by giving them a problem to solve independently. For this step, they hold the marker and the tutor remains silent until their work is complete, like a mini test.  This encourages children to think out loud and share their workings as they go along, a skill often needed in school entrance interviews.


Encourage Learning Beyond the Curriculum


We try to encourage pupils to look beyond the curriculum, whether that›s suggesting interesting books, news articles, local art galleries and museums, or even Netflix documentaries.  For older students in particular, we use real-life case studies and approach them from a problem-based perspective. This builds confidence and allows pupils to connect new content to their pre-existing knowledge like building blocks.


The Five-Minute Rule


Children who are reluctant to work without support might need the five-minute rule. Tell the student they must work on a task for five minutes before they can ask a question – something must be on the paper before the time is up, and in those first five minutes there are no wrong answers.

Likewise, set a race against a timer for the pupil to answer a question. It can be a competitive game against the tutor, and you can compare answers afterwards. Just don’t forget to go back and edit their work.

A good tutor encourages curiosity and mistakes; they ensure that pupils know the value and importance of learning over and above achieving high grades. They instil confidence in their pupils, so they learn to trust their own judgment and reduce the anxiety of not knowing the right answer.

These skills are the attributes of a lifelong learner and are key to setting a child up for academic success.

To learn more about Carfax Tutors, please visit carfax-education.com or email [email protected]


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Image source Carfax Education

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