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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Tutors for toddlers: Crazy parents will raise crazy kids

"The race to the Ivy League starts early," writes Asia Grace in the New York Post. Affluent parents are hiring tutors for their toddlers to give them an edge in kindergarten and beyond.


One New York couple is spending more than $2,000 a month on a three-times-a-week tutor for their 3-year-old son, who also attends preschool, and 16-month-old daughter. The children are learning some Spanish and how to identify colors, shapes and animals, writes Grace.


Remote schooling during the pandemic was a boon for tutors.


Beck Goodman, a Teach for America alumna with a master's in education, started working with preschoolers during the pandemic. She now runs a thriving business for families who "want to give their kids an academic head start.”


She charges an average of $300 per weekly 45-minute session to tutor children as young as 2.

Her typical tot session begins with “a conversation about their day, then we review a specific subject we’ve been focusing on — so if we’re learning letters, I’ll hide letter cut-outs around the room and have them find each one.
“We might play a board game or card game, or we’ll do an educational craft [centered around] numbers, colors and measurements with scissors and glue.”

It's not just "type-A New Yorkers," writes Grace. Kumon, which operates nationwide, now offers tutoring to children as young as age 3, and parents are bragging about their high-achieving three-year-olds on TikTok.


I live in Silicon Valley, which is filled with very competitive, education-focused and affluent parents. There are multiple tutoring services available to prep children for the rigors of preschool and kindergarten.


We're not talking about kids with learning disabilities or students who have trouble with subjects their parents never understood themselves (math). These are children who'd learn red from blue and dog from cat with a little time with Mommy or Daddy. It doesn't take a master's in education to teach a kid to count to 10.


Taking kids to the zoo, aquarium or preschool story time at the library is enrichment. Hiring a tutor to drill them on cut-and-paste skills is crazy. These people will drive their kids crazy.

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4 Comments


Guest
Nov 13, 2023

Everyone needs to look up phrases like dream hoarding or opportunity hoarding to see why the elite are paying for toddler's tutoring or additional training. There are only so many sports at the time and education is very Darwinian.

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Guest
Nov 12, 2023

So, the daycare provider is providing the Spanish instruction and keeping the child safe. The tutor is providing English vocabulary development and thinking skills aligned with testing and appropriate for the developmental level of the children. I can understand that; I remember my kid was lower ranked in achievement because he answered 'tibia' rather than 'shin' on the Kindy screening when the tester pointed to the front lower leg and asked what that part of the body was called.

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Guest
Nov 13, 2023
Replying to

Yeah, I failed the Kindy entrance exam in PA for things like being asked "Which can go faster, a horse or a car" and I said "A horse, because it doesn't have to take roads or obey stop signs, and it doesn't stall at redlights like our car."


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Guest
Nov 12, 2023

Some of this sounds almost like "elective OT" -- so the question is, if they have a wonky kid (ASD, ADHD, Processing disorders that can lead to dyslexia), is this cheaper and easier to get than standard OT? Could be a cost savings, especially if these people don't have waitlists so can intervene sooner, and don't require the wonky kid to go through the expensive formal DX process.

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