Unlike many people, I actually love walking under the sun. So, a mid-afternoon walk has always been a part of my routine when fetching my kids from Xavier School. One of the things I noticed was the proliferation of tutorial centers in the vicinity. After months of observation, I thought an online tutoring service may be better for some of the kids.

For as long as I could remember, where there is a school, there are tutors. Some are home-based, while others are legitimate business entities with a facility. The one thing that has changed was how people perceive tutorials.

A little over three decades ago, it was shameful for kids to have a tutor. In our view, only those who failed needed tutors. In some instances, some kids had to endure some form of ridicule, at times. As a matter of fact, I had a tutor too.

For the new generation, that negative perception has changed. One reason is that the system of education has evolved. The importance of education remains the same, but the psychology of learning has improved.

Today, we use a wide array of methods in educating children. The innovation continues with new teaching philosophies, techniques, and tools. Tutorial centers have their purposes, and the good ones have adapted the new innovations.

Why do Children Need Tutors?

As I observed the tutorial centers, one thing dawned on me. Some of the kids were there not because they needed the help.

In one tutorial center, I observed how a tutor passed around test papers for the kids to answer. After that, she gathers those who made mistakes and reviews the correct answers. As for the other kids who did not make mistakes, they were playing.

It dawned on me that some parents use tutorial centers as daycare centers. In fact, some tutorial centers offer to fetch their kids from the school.

Let us take a look at the reasons why parents want their child to have a tutor.

1. Substitute Parental Guidance

For many families, both parents work to have enough income to sustain their family. Unfortunately, this also results in some parents not being able to fetch their kids on time. For this reason, some nearby tutorial centers offer to fetch their kids for them. Not only do they supervise the kids with homework, they also help review their lessons.

2. Failing or Slipping Grades

A child with consistent good grades may have a sudden slip or even fail. A drop in academic performance may have other reasons other than difficulty in understanding. Nevertheless, the child needs help with the lessons, and that is what tutors are for.

3. Optimizing Time and Learning in Advance

Back when I was hanging out a little with some co-parents, one of the complaints I hear is time management. It seems that at the start of every quarter, the workload is low and then it builds up towards the end. In other words, before the quarter is over, kids have more workload.

A solution to that is to learn in advance, which is not a bad thing especially at the start of the quarter. So, parents who could not teach children at home could use the professional services of tutors.

If you are taking this approach, remember to consult your child’s teacher first. Some schools discourage kids from learning in advance. It seems trivial but the idea is that kids who already know the lesson gets bored in class. When that happens, some are bound to be restless and may have disruptive behavior.

4. Difficulty in Understanding Lessons

Not every child learns at the same pace. Education is a combination of comprehension, analytics, memorization, and many others. Some are good at some aspects, while others may take more time. In other words, there are children who are slower to learn and understand their lessons. Having a tutor helps these children catch up with the rest of the class.

5. Self-Esteem and Confidence

One of the considerations in the advancement of a child is their class participation. In fact, class participation is a step in developing leadership and social skills. But kids who are not familiar with their lessons will hesitate to participate. Tutorial centers help these kids by boosting their confidence as they become more familiar with the lessons.

6. Learning Disability

Some children may have disabilities that make it more difficult to learn. For example, children with dyslexia or ADHD have a tougher time processing information. Specialized tutors could present the lessons in a way they could understand. This, in turn, allows the children to remain in school and go through the process of being normal kids.

Tutoring Options for Your Child

There are a few different ways for your child receive tutorials. As I had described in the early part of this post, there are tutorial centers.

Let us take a look at some of the options you have:

Private Tutoring. This is usually having a teacher come over to the house to supervise the child’s education. This is a common practice for affluent families. One advantage is that the child receives full attention. It could be an expensive option depending on the qualification and skill of the tutor.

Tutorial Centers. This is the most common option. A good tutorial center can provide several packages from remedial to enhancement programs. Besides the benefits of the reason for having tutorial services, some children like it because of new friends. The cost of tutorial centers varies from cheap to expensive, depending on the quality of their facility and services.

Educational Therapy. As mentioned earlier, there are children with learning disabilities. A typical teacher or tutor is not equipped to handle the learning difficulties, hence the need for specialized tutors.

For most students of all ages, the best option for tutoring is a tutorial center and there is one good reason. A good tutorial center will not only have remedial programs, but also enhancement programs.

In as much as a school is an extension of parenting, so too, is a tutorial center to a school teacher.

In most cases, private tutors supervise homework and review a student for tests. A good tutorial center is different in that it has far more offerings and benefits.

Aside from remedial programs, top tutorial centers have their own system of enhancement programs. These are subjects and skills that further enhances a child’s education.

Tutorial Centers with Online Tutoring Services

AHEAD Enrichment Programs

  1. Math
  2. Practical math
  3. Singapore math
  4. Science
  5. Reading comprehension
  6. English grammar
  7. Assistance in essay and paper writing
  8. Conversational skill
  9. Smart reading
  10. Mind mapping

Contact Information:

Head Office:

(2) 426-0034/36

Click here to visit the homepage of AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center.

For a tutorial center to flourish, there is a need to innovate and using new technologies. At its core, a tutorial center is still a business entity, hence it has to be profitable.

A good example is AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center. At first glance, it is easy to classify it as one of the top tutorial centers in the Philippines. But there must be a reason for that. And those reasons have to be in the best interest of the children for them to be among the most recommended.

Like many tutorial centers, the packages offered include remedial, reinforcement and maintenance programs. For honor students, there is the achiever program.

The question is, which tutorial center does it better than the others?

Furthermore, which tutorial center incorporates the use of technology in its services?

One of the trends today is the convenience of technology. In fact, the availability of broadband services is the reason why the Philippines is on top of the BPO industry. Another growing industry is online freelancing.

By using technology, getting ahead of the competition becomes possible for tutorial centers. A hybrid mix of an on-site and online tutoring provides the most convenience for children.

Pros and Cons of Online Tutoring

In the Philippines, online tutorial for children is not common, but that will change. Although it has its disadvantages, it also has its benefits.

For obvious reasons, students need access to a computer and fast Internet connection.

In the Philippines, the issue today is not how slow the connection is, but rather, how expensive the faster bandwidths are. Unless these prerequisites are available, then online tutoring is not possible.

In tutorial centers, a tutor could see the child and have a better understanding. But then again, the child will have to share the tutor’s attention with other kids.

Online tutoring, on the other hand, is a one-on-one interaction between the tutor and the child. Not only is it convenient to be at home, but because of the 100% attention, lessons can be finished quickly.

One disadvantage of online tutoring is that there are lessons that are harder to teach online. Here, being in the presence of a tutor physically is preferable such as in tutorial centers.

Finally, children may not feel well all the time. For instance, a child with a cold may be better off staying at home rather than spreading the virus in a tutorial center. But having online tutorial services means the child could still review lessons.

Combining the Best of Tutorial Centers and Online Tutoring

I had the chance to talk to Rossana Llenado, CEO of Ahead Tutorial and Review Center. She told me they started offering online tutorial and review to students overseas. But now they have started offering the same online tutorial to students in the Philippines.

Instead of parents choosing to avail of the online option or bringing to their facility, they give the parents the option to customize their schedule. In other words, they can do it either way or mix both. Even better is that schedules for online tutoring could be arranged for day or night time.

Looking at the pros and cons of online tutoring, I can now see how the cons could be further minimized. For instance, lessons that are better taught in person could be done at Ahead tutorial facility, while others could be taught online.

Final Thoughts

There are only two reasons for having tutors, remedial or enhancements. If parents cannot do it themselves, then let the professionals do it. But tutorial centers are businesses hence some may be in it for the money only.

So, it is best for parents to check out the top tutorial centers and observe how they conduct tutorials. Talking to them alone is not good enough. Of course, they will all say the right things.

The most important thing to consider in as far as helping your child is this. Is the tutorial center helping the child by passing tests or improving understanding?

Chances are also high that you have access to a computer and broadband Internet connection. Having a tutorial service that allows the flexibility of doing lessons online gives you and your child maximum comfort and convenience.

23 COMMENTS

  1. You have started a very good debate here.

    Personally, while I was in school I only had tutors in the years before the big nationals exams, to make sure that I will pass with a high grade. I was lucky enough though to have really good teachers in school who would care about the process of learning and not be there just for the sake of it.

    I do believe that children shouldn’t be judged by the same subjects. Some children are good at math, some children are good at languages, some children are good at arts.

    This is what we should be looking for and not just tutor our children because they are failing a subject they hate.

    I don’t really believe in online tutoring and that is because you have no control over it and you don’t know what your child is doing or if they are actually learning something or just wasting your money while sitting in front of a computer and do something else but study.

  2. I, being a parent of a toddler, am honestly thinking of enrolling my almost 2-year-old son in a tutorial center nearby our home. The reason I have in mind is for him to have an interaction with other kids. Also for him to be able to be exposed to a ‘learning’ environment. Of course, the first few months or years of being in that learning center will be more on playing but the curriculum is tailored for their age, thus there will still be learning.

    Though I am a work-at-home-mom, I admit I do not have much time to focus on play and learning time with him as we are a yaya-less family as well. So my husband and I agreed that when we already see our son fit to be enrolled at a daycare center such as the tutorial center we’re already considering, we will not hesitate to do so. 🙂

    Anyway, speaking of online tutorials, it is one great option for some parents especially nowadays na mas gugustuhin mo pa yatang nasa bahay lang ang anak mo kasi marami na talagang mga kriminal na nagkalat at kung anu ano ang modus na nauuso. That’s why also homeschooling is also becoming a trend for some stay-at-home parents na rin.

    I think online tutorials will be effective for kids who are disciplined enough with using gadgets. I mean, most kids nowadays use computers not for learning but for browsing and online games na lang and it’s bothering.

    I think online tutorials will work best for the kids who have eagerness to learn as well so they can really give their full attention to every lesson that the online tutorials are offering.

  3. This is a good read, Sir Robert.

    I agree with you when you said the perception of having a tutor today has changed. I also had a tutor during my secondary education. To me, it is both an advantage and a disadvantage, because it could mean faster learning for children today, easy access to information, and a better feeling about having a tutor.

    However, with this being said, I also think that there’s a possibility that because the perception has already changed, some of the kids today may not experience how to learn and be better by themselves.

    With the rise of online presence in today’s world, I think that online tutorial is best combined with the supervision of a professional tutor, or the kids’ parents.

  4. Well, I never really had a tutor growing up. Personally, unless your children have disabilities, or are having a hard time in school, I think there is no need for them to undergo tutoring. I really believe it’s the school’s job to provide them with the knowledge they need for growth. They could use their extra time to go out and play, for them to develop their motor, interpersonal skills, etc., instead of being fed with stuff that they will just encounter in school. I’d still say that parents are the best teachers for their children. Even if they are busy with work, it won’t hurt to make time to spend with their kids.

  5. I agree that not every child have the same pace in learning that’s why as teachers we make it a point to provide different learning strategies to our students because we know that there’s a diversity of learners. I noticed that in the past, a lot of my students from private school ask me for a tutorial session whenever they have failing grades. Now, most of them go on online tutoring. The good thing for students is that they have wide options nowadays.

  6. I didn’t have a tutor growing up. I was one of those kids who loved reading my books in advance as soon as my mom purchases them before the school year begins. 🙂 By the end of summer, I’m done reading all my books. 🙂

    But, I worked part-time as a tutor for other students when I was in college. I tutored younger students who were either celebrities or children of celebrities. I even helped a famous celebrity get her high school diploma by helping her review for a DedEd test.

    I think that parents are still the best teachers for their kids especially if the children are still young. The lessons usually are not that hard yet. Why do I say this? Because even difficult subjects can be more tolerable when you study it with a loving and supportive parent. Plus, the support or help and presence of the parent in helping a child overcome a difficulty will foster a stronger relationship. I think one of the reasons I loved Math (which many people hate) is because studying Math was my bonding activity with my father. He didn’t finish college but he made time to help me learn the basics. 🙂 I eventually joined Math competitions and that brought my father pride and joy. 🙂

    For older students whose parents could not teach them for one reason or another, I agree that online tutorials could be helpful since this solution helps take care of the traffic problem. At least, the kids can continue learning while at home.

    It’s just sad that there are many kids who still get tutors when they already spend so much time supposedly learning in school. It means that the school is not able to address the learning needs sufficiently of the student. That is one reason I chose to homeschool my kids. We homeschool for less than a half day but we already cover a lot and based on their previous assessment, they are even ahead of their peers. I think it helps that the student-teacher ratio is better and that we eliminate unnecessary activities. Like instead of waiting for your classmates to catch up or learn concepts, kids proceed at their pace.

  7. I never experienced having a tutor but I might consider getting one if my child would exhibit the need for me to get one. I’m not working anymore so I’m putting it in my non-negotiable responsibilities list. I also plan to enroll my daughter in a progressive type school so I ‘m not really sure if enrolling in a tutorial center would still be necessary. Let’s see, maybe one day we will need it or we won’t.

    • Interesting thoughts! I live in the Netherlands, so the educational system might differ a bit. But I do agree on the importance of tutors. I’m sure if tutorial centers are as big here. But I think there are big advantages to tutoring. Online tutoring sounds great because it provides flexibility. Besides: Most things go online these days, so in that way, it prepares children for that as well. Besides the given arguments, I also think a tutor can have an inspiring role. In seeing what the child does very well, or which competencies the child has. And give some broader information if the kid is really interested. And help them through courses that are less easy for them.

  8. I remember that era as well. I was a school kid then. Going to tuition centres were seen as a lowly thing and meant that the teaching at school wasn’t enough for them and their understanding was low. But today, tuitions have become inevitable. All that said, I still think, tutorials are a bit too much stress for kids. I mean after the day long school hours, shouldn’t they be given the time to be kids – to play around and do creative stuff than learning more of school stuff???!!!

  9. Online tutoring seems to be a promising avenue and is especially apt for the times. I think the thing with online tutoring is we further allow people to be disconnected from one another. We could say that this saves time and teaches students independence but we lose the human sociability factor. Just from my experience of having online work related meetings the physical presence is still the best way to go and to convey our points faster. A child taking up tutoring is already experiencing challenges and it could be both beneficial or a hindrance.

  10. I would say I didn’t go through tutoring when I was young and it helped to learn things on my own. I agree, though, tutoring now has evolved and with the technology we have now, it isn’t impossible to have online tutoring available. And as you discussed, there are different pros and cons. I believe that it’s how the parents want the kids to learn and how they prioritize it in order to choose which tutoring service they need.

    This is a great trend to start with. And this is also a good way of leveraging technology. I would just want to know if you know someone who actually went through online tutoring and how does it affect them? Do they think it is better than being physically involved with a one on one session? Just curious, though. 🙂

  11. I agree that students nowadays need online tutoring. That would be a big help for them to catch up, especially now that we have acquired a new educational system. I remember my 4th grader complaining of too much work/studies/activities in school and me, being work at home, cannot attend to her needs at all times. My kid is a good student if not excellent, she is studious but she still complains about her studies and sometimes she gets tired and stressed. This online tutoring gave me an idea on how to lessen her burden. But you are right, the poor internet speed is a problem.

  12. I can relate as I have been on both sides: a tutor and a tutee. When I was young, I knew I needed help with Math desperately, so I got a tutor. It was quite helpful because it’s not my strength and I was learning slower than the other kids in school, but of course, the teacher could not spend too much time focusing on me until I catch up, while all the other kids have to wait. I also tutored Koreans online and it was quick and easy since I was teaching English. I can’t imagine how that would work for Math, though! Unless there are visual aids, maybe?

  13. We have this mindset that getting a tutor or having a tutor is for those who are not smart. Back in my primary school days, a couple of classmates have tutors and always got bullied and taunted for being not so smart. At a young age, our parents instilled in us the idea of being independent and always try your best in everything but I still envy those who have tutors, not because they’re not so smart but they get to have additional learning.

    When my daughter started going to school, I never closed the opportunity of getting her a tutor after school. My wife is also in favor of the idea. By grade 2, we got a tutor for her and it was truly a big help. And since there are online tutoring available now, we would certainly take it into consideration.

  14. I have a lot of experience as a private tutor and as a volunteer in a tutoring center for underprivileged children. The reasons you listed for wanting a tutor are good, but I would add that if parents are not native speakers of a language that their child is studying, the parents may wish to engage a tutor who is a native speaker. I have also been hired to work with strong students to provide further challenge and enrichment than they are receiving in class. I think online tutoring would be beneficial for parents who cannot afford a private tutor.

  15. The closest thing I had for a tutor were my classmates whose expertise in Math I consulted when we were still in school. You see Math is my weakness, I was never really good at it, so whenever there are tests coming up, I’d seek the help of my Math whiz friends so I could understand better.

    I never really had an impression, though, that tutors are for kids who are weak in classes. What we thought of them are rich kids who had tutors because they can afford ’em, Haha…

    While I still prefer going to school, I am definitely aware of the advantages of getting a tutor. In fact, I want to get one to master another language. I think it’s easier to learn if there is one person who can give all his or her attention to you.

  16. Good Point! I used to teach before and I often observed the difficulties of the student in learning. Maybe, the primary students need to have these kinds of activity for them to become prepared in the ways of life. Students tend to be more playful since they still don’t know the meaning of responsibilities. But then, torturing your child to have a tutor for the rest of their lives in their academy years may make them lose some confidence or their self-esteem since they might think that they have difficulties in terms of understanding. Maybe it’s still good though to have these kinds of sessions once in a while or when it is necessary. Being good in academics is good, but I still believe having a tutor or not, it really depends upon the environment they grow up with.

  17. Yes, some decades back taking extra tutor help was a matter of shame and ridicule. Thankfully it is not so now. Though online tutorials are emerging to be a new trend I still think personal tutor or tutor centers are better. A face to face interaction always helps.

  18. Whoa. Tutorial centers offer to fetch the child from school. Also, it can be conducted online. I think those who can avail it are those who have a good attention span. Those definitely take tutorial a notch. I also received tutoring lessons when I was a child until high school. From your list, it’s because I have difficulty understanding Mandarin. Its effectivity depends on the methods of the tutor. Sadly, it wasn’t effective for me since all the tutor made me do was memorize. I’m sure Ahead doesn’t do that.

  19. I never had a tutor, but I was able to teach ballet in one of the home schools in our place. As I observe children having one on one lessons with their teachers, back in my mind I told myself that I would do the same for my kids. Because it’s really working, kids have higher grades and they’re performing well. I think there’s a lot of advantages compared to disadvantage.

  20. Interesting points you mentioned there. Nowadays, it seems like having a tutor is also a necessity for school-aged children. I noticed a number of students in my son’s class availing the tutorial services provided by their school. Most tutors help children with their homework or review them for upcoming exams. I guess these tutorial centers grew in popularity due to the growing number of parents who cannot personally oversee their children’s homework and review for exams because they work full-time away from home. It is easier to send the children to tutors because the parents do not have the time to do it. I think online tutorials are very promising since children can take this at home, making it more economical and a convenient alternative.

  21. This article is really helpful for me as my kid started his studies. Although he is still a pre-schooler I am considering enrichment courses for him. As you mentioned, it is true that most of the teachers review test papers of those who make mistakes. But other students will be relaxed during that time which is not beneficial for the students who don’t many mistakes or who understand the concepts better than others. So, they will not improve their talents much for the capacity they can take in. This is my worry about my child too…

  22. I can really relate to this one Sir Robert. I was once a private tutor and I can tell the huge difference between the traditional ones and the online tutorial services. It is really fascinating to see that we are really embracing the modern technology and the benefits that we get from the Internet. Online tutorials are absolutely ideal for everyone whether kids or college students. I have heard about AHEAD and I’m glad they do offer such programs today.

    This is such a great read… thanks a lot for sharing

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