As a parent, you want what is best for your child, and that can be difficult in a world where technology has begun filling almost every waking hour of many children’s lives. When it comes to education, you may find the struggle more difficult with all the various options available. Home school, tutoring programs, education enrichment, private schools, and there are many more you can select from to create the perfect educational program for your child. The problem is, what may be right for one child, even within the same household, may not be the right choice for another child. So, whether your child is gifted, you want to provide him or her an academic advantage, or your child needs to catch up in one or two areas of his or her studies, choosing between tutoring and enrichment can be confusing. Here are a few thoughts that may help you decide which program is right for your child?
Defining Tutoring Programs
Tutoring is a fast-growing industry today, but the system has been around for hundreds of years. Commonly used by the elite centuries ago instead of classroom studies, the tutor was a one-on-one teacher that taught basic subjects to the student such as reading and writing. As modern life and tutoring met and coalesced, tutoring began to morph into two areas of thought. The first type of tutoring was for the child that excelled in a field and needed further stimulation. The second type of tutoring program was the face-face interaction for a child that had special needs, a small group setting for children that could not grasp the concepts of a single area of study or a program for a child that was not at the classroom level on a subject.
Understanding Enrichment Classes
Enrichment programs as an established curriculum or system are fairly new, though many would suggest the system is a break-away from tutoring and follows the same method of thought. Often held in a group setting, education enrichment classes focus on a specific topic or concept but takes a more expansive look into the area than would be allowed in a standard classroom setting. The concept is that by taking an in-depth look at an idea, the child will naturally gravitate toward what he or she is intrinsically curious about. This, in turn, can lead to further and deeper discussions that can return greater levels of understanding to the whole group. Although enrichment programs encourage the mental growth and curiosity of each child, there is a defining curriculum and specified program materials for this type of educational classroom, so the children must learn within established parameters.
Considering Program Differences
Although the programs can overlap to some small extent, there are huge differences. Costs for tutoring are higher, but the teacher comes to your home for an hour or two at a time. Enrichment costs are slightly less than tutoring, and the program is in an established setting with one teacher over a group of children for a few hours at a time. Here are some other differences:
The rewards of coaching sessions can be worthwhile in a world that offers very little stimulation for the brilliant child. The flexibility of a tutor can help expand a child’s awareness by allowing the child’s natural curiosity to drive the course and depth of the class, while the tutor expands the course of study to include outside aspects of the educational process as well. An example would be a child’s fascination with ants. The tutor may take the child outdoors to study the ants in nature, then ask the child to work out a math formula to determine how many ants are in the colony, and then require a written discussion of the ant world from an ant’s point of view.
In a group setting, the enrichment teacher may show a video of ants, and the narrator or teacher would explain the information to the children. The children would then be free to ask questions, and because the number of students is very small, each child could become involved in the discussion. The children would then be asked to write a paper on the ant colony, and some could choose to write it from the ant’s point of view.
You can see the systems are very much the same, yet they are very different. Only you can decide which program is right for you and your child.