What is the difference between a tutor and an au pair?
With the hectic pace of today’s life, many parents find that they need assistance with their children to some degree. You may find that there is too much day left at the end of your energy. It is easy to feel overwhelmed at the end of a busy day. Especially if this is when your children need attention or help with their schoolwork! You may not feel equipped to help with schoolwork, especially with children in high school. You have heard the words tutor and au pair, but aren’t sure which one would best suit your specific needs and schedule.
To help you decide, here is an overview of the main differences between a tutor and an au pair:
What is a Tutor?
A tutor is an individual who assists with specific academic support. Tutors are typically well educated, and usually studying at tertiary institutions. Tutors are also sometimes working individuals who enjoy sharing knowledge with younger learners in their spare time. At the very least, tutors would have successfully completed Grade 12 with great results.
A tutor can also be described as follows:
- A tutor should also be able to teach or convey information in a meaningful way. Just achieving brilliant academic results is not enough. They should have superior or expert knowledge in the subjects they tutor.
- A good tutor will also be easy to relate to, preferably with a calm and patient demeanour, especially if they are tutoring younger learners. They should have good communication skills and be easy to understand.
- An understanding of learning styles and methods is beneficial to a tutor. This allows them to tutor different individuals in ways that are meaningful to them, and assist with study skills that a learner can relate to for the subject they tutor. BrightSparkz Tutors provides a learning styles assessment to all new clients.
- A tutor is a successful individual who has ambition and they often have drive and determination to achieve their goals. As such, they make good mentors to the learners they tutor, as they provide inspiration, motivation and encouragement.
- Usually the tutor will come to your home at times suitable to you, so there is no driving around like you would when transporting your children to extra lessons. A private tutor will spend an hour or two of focused time with the learner where knowledge is passed over, and usually a tutoring relationship is one-on-one. The tutor will prepare lessons according to the school syllabus. Assisting the learner to achieve better academic results is their major focus.
How a tutor can help you:
- If your children require assistance to improve their grades, and you do not need childcare services other than academic support, at home tutoring is a great option for you. BrightSparkz Tutors offers hand-picked tutors who have been screened and interviewed and are able to deliver a high-quality service to you. A specialist maths tutor, science tutor or Afrikaans tutor may be just what your child needs to move to the next level of academic achievement.
- Perhaps your child has always struggled to learn Afrikaans? We offer an excellent Afrikaans Boot Camp which will teach your child in a fun way, and improve their confidence levels enormously!
- Does your child have special needs or some barrier to learning? Do they qualify for a reader or scribe? We can help! We offer trained concessions facilitators as one of our services.
What is an Au Pair?
An au pair should be considered if you require childcare services other than academic support. The duties carried out by au pairs may differ widely depending on requirements. In general au pairs will transport children to and from school, arrange their lunch and / or snacks, supervise homework and help with projects. Au pairs may also transport children to and from extra mural activities. They may also care for children until their parents arrive home from work, and assist with bath and dinner routines.
Some other relevant information pertaining to au pairs may include:
- An au pair may tutor as well as supervise homework. Not all au pairs have tertiary education, or are academically inclined, so may not be equipped to fill the role of a tutor. (It is recommended to have subject-specific tutoring once or twice per week for academic improvement to occur).
- Often an au pair may have too many other duties to perform to focus solely on academics. They may be busy with more than one child simultaneously. Au pairs often need childcare experience. This is not necessary for a tutor.
- You may need an au pair if:
- Childcare duties are your primary concern
- You need assistance with more than one child at the same time daily
- Your child/children need supervision for several hours a day
- Transport to and from extramural activities is one of your requirements.
Should you need someone to perform childcare duties in addition to delivering specialist, focused education services, you may wish to use the services of both an au pair and a tutor. If you’re still not sure if a tutor or an au pair would be the best fit for you, get in touch with us! One of our consultants will gladly assist.
If you would like to get your own amazing tutor, get in touch with us! BrightSparkz Tutors does not provide au pairs.
Written by: Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Writer