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Do I need a TUTOR or an AU PAIR?

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.

Childcare tutor vs au pair

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.

Childcare au pair vs tutor

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

Tutor Of The Month: Jade van Biljon

 Jade van Biljon - IT Tutor - Maths Tutor

Jade is our August 2017 Tutor of the Month!

Jade is currently studying a BSc. in Information Technology at the Pearson Institute for Higher Education, and last year she completed a Higher Certificate in Systems Engineering at the same institution. She achieved 5 distinctions for Matric, graduating Cum Laude. Jade has been an IT and Maths tutor to our learners since the start of 2016, and we’ve had excellent feedback from her clients. Jade is always friendly and helpful, and willing to assist her clients. She is a bubbly person, with a real passion for working as a tutor.

Her advice for students? “Develop a passion for learning – when you do, it will never cease to grow!”

Erin’s clients have the following to say about her: 

“Unaisah loved working with Jade, she is amazing.”
 
“Lisa has done very well in her IT – 94%, and we are very thankful to Jade.”

 

To get your own amazing tutor, click here.

Tutor Of The Month: Erin Miller

 Get your own amazing tutor!

Erin is our July 2017 Tutor of the Month!

Erin matriculated from St Andrews School for Girls in 2014 with excellent results all-round, and is currently in her 3rd year of a BA Psychology degree at the University of Pretoria. She is truly passionate about education and would like to teach special needs children once she qualifies. Erin joined BrightSparkz Tutors in 2016 and has gone over and above to prove herself as both an incredibly reliable, focussed and enthusiastic tutor and Concession Facilitator. She is always willing to help, even at short notice, and is constantly going the extra mile for her learners and clients. Erin has worked with more than seven of our clients (tutoring and exam concession clients) over the past year. All of her clients have been immediately willing to provide wonderful feedback and phenomenal testimonies for Erin as an outstanding tutor, as well as a mentor to their children. Erin – thank you for being exceptional! We are so proud to have you as part of our dynamic team!

Erin’s clients have the following to say about her: 

“As always the facilitators were punctual and very professional. Once again a pleasant experience liaising with all!”

“My concession facilitators were very friendly, kind and professional. They made me comfortable and calm when I was anxious about tests and exams. Your team is perfect!”

 

To get your own amazing tutor, click here.

Concession Facilitators: Making exams less stressful!

What does a Concession Facilitator do?

At BrightSparkz, our Concession Facilitators (readers, scribes and prompters) ensure that all students have simple, smooth, and stress-free test and exam periods. By providing direct and personalized instruction alongside high-end proficiency in transcribing talent, a BrightSparkz Concession Facilitator ensures that your knowledge is truly reflected in the written component of your test or exam and that every aspect is addressed in a detailed and transparent manner. Concessions Facilitators also ensure that the instructions, questions, and any additional, relevant information are all highlighted and effectively presented to maximize academic performance.

Readers

  • They dictate questions, sources, and instructions to ensure clarity and comprehension.
  • Having a reader will ensure that you hear every aspect of the question! This reduces the chance of mistakes and skipping parts of questions, and improves your ability to answer optimally.
  • Readers are a great help for any students with dyslexia, in addition to those with other special needs conditions that impair textual and visual reception.

Scribes

  • These highly skilled writers will transcribe your dictated work in a neat and professional manner, therefore ensuring you peace of mind.
  • Having a scribe will allow you to focus entirely on constructing your answer. You then simply dictate your words to the scribe who writes it down diligently and efficiently.
  • Scribes provide invaluable assistance to any students who qualify for writing allowances, including cases of arm and hand injuries.

Book a Concession Facilitator today!

Endless Benefits!

BrightSparkz Tutors can provide you with experienced and talented Concession Facilitators to ensure that your tests and examinations reflect your true capability. With over 10 years of tutor-matching experience, BrightSparkz has assisted with more than 500 hours of concessions facilitation over the past 2 years. Learners have experienced a substantial increase in their academic performance and marks, as well as reduced stress levels. This has resulted in learners and students excelling at their studies in a way that highlights their true potential, and even exceeding expectation. Book a Concession Facilitator now.

What our Clients have to say

Friday’s exam went well. Both Munira and Nwabisa were waiting for Taryn and Kayla when they arrived at college. They both read well and clearly. Kayla mentioned that it was Nwabisa’s first time reading as she had only scribed previously, and that her reading was good and very clear. Both my girls felt very comfortable with them.

– Rowena, Durban North

Overall I give BrightSparkz a perfect 10/10 rating! The admin team were amazing as was my Writer. The test went really well and the admin team got back to me super quickly and assured me of a Writer. Amazing service and I couldn’t ask for better. 10/10! 🙂

– Aiden, Sandton

Written By: Filipp Stoliarov, BrightSparkz Tutor & Concessions Facilitator – Cape Town