Extra classes?

Sometimes parents are told that their children are not coping in class and that additional help is needed. There could be a variety of reasons that your child struggles. It could be that your child is performing at his/her best ability, your child may experience learning difficulties that no one has noticed, they may be bored or over-stimulated or there may simply be too many distractions during class time. Your child may be a practical learner and the lessons may be presented in auditory/visual ways not giving your child enough time to figure it out during hands-on activities. In South-Africa many classes are too full and there are too many distractions, teachers are pressured with time and tedious amounts of admin that take time away from teaching. No matter the reason, a recommendation may be made that a learner needs tutoring or remedial intervention.


When it comes to basic literacy or math, parents either try to help the learners themselves or send the children to their class teacher for extra help. Although both these avenues make sense to some extent I recommend sending these learners to a third party such as Little Genius.


Children who experience challenges at school normally also experience low self-esteem, anxiety or fear (it could be for a number of reasons) and they feel ashamed that their friends are performing better than they are. At some point children realize that they work slower or get lower marks than their friends. Using a third party, like Little Genius, is preferred because:


1) It is a new environment without any expectations (reduces anxiety);

2) Little Genius helps the learners without pressure and do not set time limits to their progress (reduces  anxiety);

3) Little Genius uses techniques that are not used at school and that parents often do not have access to;

4) Learners may be afraid of their class teachers which hinders the learning process;

5) During your child’s lesson, the focus will be on the challenges that your child experiences. There will be no interruptions by other staff, ringing school bells and so forth.


There are so many options when it comes to remedial intervention and/or tutoring. What to look for when deciding on the right option for your child:


1) What qualifications do the teachers/tutors have? Have they gone for any additional training?

2) How much experience does the teacher/tutor have?

3)Do they use a set programme or are they able to adapt to meet the needs of your specific child?

4) Are they flexible in terms of content and activities?

5) Do they stay up to date with curriculum changes and new research that has been done or do they follow the same programme year after year?

6) Does the teacher/tutor and child click? Although this may not seem important, it plays a vital role in the education of your child. Children need to be comfortable in their environment and with their teachers. If they are uncomfortable, it may cause anxiety which decreases the learning opportunities. At some point, everyone has a teacher that they do not like and sadly that is reflected in your marks…

7) Does the teaching methods cater for every learner and can it be easily adapted during a lessons?


Don’t be shy to ask these questions! Remedial lessons/tutors are pricey and as a parent wanting to give their children the best, you need to know what you are paying for.


So why are remedial lessons so expensive? Each child experiences a different challenge. Although many children struggle to read, there could literally be hundreds of reasons why they struggle. A good teacher will pick up what the problem is after a few sessions and adapt or create material suited for your child. So when paying your remedial teacher you are not only paying for the time that your child is physically with the teacher, you are also paying for hours of preparation and research so that your child can receive the best help and intervention possible. Preparing individualized lessons, tasks and activities take hours and although some of these can be adapted, to change or alter these activities also take time and resources that could have been used to assist other learners. Besides for this, your remedial teacher should be a qualified professional and parents pay for their knowledge, skills and experience.


Once a teacher has recommended intervention please find a remedial teacher to assist your child as soon as possible. The teacher works with 15 to 30 or sometimes even 40 children per class per day and will definitely notice if your child is not on the the level of his/her peers. If the teacher notices, it is only a matter of time before your child realises it too.


Help your child become the best little person that they can be!