This article is a guest post in collaboration with Sai Kung Tutors:

Subjects: Focus on the right subjects

Focus on subjects where you can see an improvement will be most beneficial. Sometimes we need to focus on subjects where students are  struggling, but in other cases the best use of time is focusing on subjects students are good at. Top schools look for stand out students, so exceling in strong subjects can be beneficial in the long run.

Understanding: Get the right teaching approach

Find out what type of learner your child is (oral, visual, kinesthetic) and ensure that their tuition will teach them in a way they will understand and retain information.

Mentoring: Get the right tutor

Probably the most important point on this list. Find someone your child “clicks” with. Trial lessons ensure you find the right one. Getting a Math genius tutor who struggles to relate with your child is usually not a good choice. Knowledge is not always King when looking for the right tutor, it’s interpersonal skills.

Managing Expectations: Record what needs to be learnt

This can be difficult when it comes to IB subjects, but take the time to understand what weaknesses or gaps in your child’s learning exist so you can arm the tutor with a list of what to focus on. This list will become useful later when you review your child’s understanding of what is being learnt. Stay active in the process and keep your “finger on the pulse” to help guide your child through their studies. Get regular feedback to keep your child on track.

Effort and Incentives

If your child struggles with the idea of giving up their holiday time to get tuition, come up with creative ways to motivate them. It’s difficult for younger children to always see the benefit of extra study, so consider giving them rewards for their engagement. For older students, long-term goals like rewards could be dependent on exam results. Be creative in your goals and make sure it’s something they want.

Roadmap: Long-term strategy

Progress in education doesn’t happen overnight. Your child is unique and the benefit of private tuition is that it caters to what your child needs. Tutoring should help lay a foundation for their future, and establishing good habits takes time. You might want to consider setting up a regular tutorial session for your child that continues during term-time.


James Whaley is a lead consultant and tutor at Sai Kung Tutors. SKT provides quality private tuition for young learners all the way through to IB students. They also consult on UK boarding school and University applications. For more about him and others, go to or call +852 5321 4400.