Off the bat here, let me be clear, I am not a believer in subjecting my boys to extra academic activities. To me, the six and a half hours they spend at school is bordering on too much and I would rather them spend the time playing in the sunshine. They are four and six after all and when we were kids (oh dear, how old do I sound) reading and writing at this age was neither the norm nor expected and we turned out fine, I think anyway. This begs the question then of why did I step foot in The Tutoring Center in the first place. Well to be honest, it was not a quick decision and we may yet change our mind but the thought process as it stands is that we believe that the physical act of writing for J is a hinderance, his poor hand cannot keep up with his brain! Talking to him he has the most fantastical stories and intricate plots to recount but place pen and paper in front of him and you’ll get bullet points if you’re lucky and rolled eyes if not. Gut feel (a.k.a 7 years of parenting prowess), it’s hard for him to write things down and the only way to improve on that is practise but I’m no expert and us butting heads at this stage already is not an option so we found The Tutoring Centre.

Our first non-virtual contact with the centre was for J’s initial assessment and while I was nervous, he not only took it in his stride but thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! The Tutoring Centre assessment differs from other academic programmes in that it is free of charge, no strings attached. Yes, they’re that confident! J had his assessment on a Saturday morning when he was still bright eyed and bushy tailed and that worked for him in that he wasn’t knackered after a full day at school. The diagnostic assessment process is 45 minutes to an hour long and covers reading (decoding i.e. phonetic abilities and comprehension i.e. how well they grasp the meaning of the content) and mathematics (computation and application). No pressure is put on your child as the trained facilitators are quickly able to deduce when your child is struggling and will move on without any negativity. While the kiddies are busy with the assessment, you will be busy filling in a seriously comprehensive report of your child covering everything about how you perceive them to be performing academically (this is so much harder than you’d think), feedback from teachers and what their typical school day looks like. I think this is where I was sold to proceed with enrolling J. His final report (all 7 pages of it) was so much more than the outcome of a couple of questions asked in isolation and a payment plan! Yes it looked at his performance in the assessment, but it also looked at his ability to add additional learning time into his week, his performance at school as well as what we felt was important to him and us. That was what appealed to me, the holistic evaluation of my child and therefore a genuine personal interest in what is best for him. We were all so pleasantly surprised that L has subsequently had an assessment too!

J has very happily been enrolled into the Reading Programme which he will follow twice a week and I’ll keep you posted on his progress and impressions. In the meantime though, if you are interested in having an unbiased evaluation of child’s strengths and opportunity areas, then you cannot go wrong with The Tutoring Center. They are situated in Knowledge Village with easy access via the tram and ample parking across the road. The Diagnostic Assessment is free of charge so you really have nothing to loose other than an hour of your day and everything to gain!

Posted by:Paula Medronho

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