Too Tired to Tutor: With a Surprising Result

Photo by David Castillo Dominici / Taken from

Photo by David Castillo Dominici / Taken from

I am now 30 weeks pregnant.  The baby feels like he is pressing on a nerve on my right leg making it uncomfortable to walk occasionally.  In a case of awful timing, my workload went up more than double causing me to come home much later than normal.  I am frustrated because I can’t seem to find the time to finish everything. I am tired but I can’t rest or the work piles up and there’s no one but me to pick up the slack. On top of that, I have been having pretty strong Braxton Hicks Contractions in the afternoons, which is highly uncomfortable but the doctor said is okay.  I have to get checked every 2 weeks to ensure I’m not slipping into premature labor.

To make a long story short, I’m pooped, especially now.

On top of that, I come home and I have to tutor my children.  Needless to say, I admit, I’ve slacked off when it comes to tutoring the kids.

With C, I am genuinely attempting to let her set her own study pace and identify for herself what she needs to study day-to-day.  All I ask is she needs to make her own daily checklist of things to do and faithfully maintain her schedule book which will help her identify her priorities when making her things to do…. the rest I leave up to trust that she’s studying well without my interference.  So far, she’s been doing pretty well especially with the high degree of difficulty her lessons seem to be at this school year.

With A, I feel I have been remiss with my tutoring duties compared to my old style with C, which is making me feel immensely guilty.  Due to the busy schedule, I’ve taken to calling home and ordering him to read and review lessons on his own and I will just quiz him when I get home.  I sometimes prepare worksheets for him to answer during my lunch hour and leave instructions for him to answer them when I get home. To be honest, I’m doing the best I can with the energy (and time) I do have.  However, I am painfully aware that I have not been as conscientious with A as I used to be with C.

One good thing came out of it though… at 6, A‘s still too young to be a self-starter when it comes with his studies.  However, I found out that he’s able to focus on reading and reviewing on his own without my constant supervision.  I come home with his worksheets answered and when I quiz him, he really knows his stuff which tells me he was able to successfully review and understand the lesson without my hovering over him like a hawk.  He packs his school bags everyday on his own with no supervision as well which is a stark contrast from C whom I used to pack her bags for until she was older because I had a lot more time to do so.

So far, he’s had good grades (no grade lower than 90 except in penmanship) with no tutor and a mother who feels she doesn’t spend enough time tutoring.

Although I do plan to devote more time to A‘s studies when my workload lightens up or after I’ve established breastfeeding with my third little blessing (whichever comes first), I am hoping to take advantage of his independence and take a more relaxed approached to tutoring him compared to my usual style.

I have a strange feeling that taking a less hovering approach to tutoring is actually going to benefit the kids more than the constant attention and control I used to take when it comes to tutor time.  Although they probably won’t get straight A’s, the independence and self-motivation they get from doing things on their own will probably be a trait that will benefit them more in the future.

Again, I don’t know if this is just a way to divert my guilt and justify not being as hands on as I used to be.    I have a hunch, though, that the unexpected realization from my unplanned release of control over tutoring is correct…..

Whether or not I’m doing the right thing remains to be seen.  I’ll find out for sure by the end of this school year….  If the grades take a drastic dip, I’ll have no choice but to go back to the standard strict-hovering-tutor mode with A immediately.


My husband recently asked me “Why not hire a tutor?”

Because my kids like it that they can come straight home from school, have a snack, take a shower and work in their pajamas.  Because they like having the ability to review with me anywhere we go which means study time doesn’t dictate their leisure time… in our case the opposite applies.  Because I like knowing what they’re learning.

Because I am built with the ability to tutor them (not everyone is built that way) and I really can’t bear turning it over to other people if I can do it myself.

But the most important reason I can’t bear to hire a tutor is — the kids are worth the effort.

I told hubby I’ll keep on doing the tutoring myself for as long as I’m able.  I’ll just have to make time for it.  All I ask is for his patience when I occasionally whine to him when I’m tired….


10 thoughts on “Too Tired to Tutor: With a Surprising Result

  1. I so like this post very much! There are a lot if mommy insights that resonates with me. I’m going through the sane phase. I thought I always fall short of my own expectations when it comes to tutoring them but at the end if the day, even when it’s tiring, it is so important to me to see what they are learning, to learn together, to work hard together. I do this not just for the grade but in the hope that they will be more prepared for life when they go into the world on their own.


    • You’re right. As mothers we just want the best for our kids and the best thing for them really is that we be there for them and guide them through life.

      Thank you so much.. your comment made me feel so much better about what I’m doing and the decisions I’m making. Parenting is so abstract and the results are intagible so it’s hard to know what’s wrong and what’s right. 😀


  2. There is no absolute wrong or right. There is what’s wrong or right for a particular child.

    You’re right though, six may be a bit too young. Nine or so is the age where they can start being more independent. My own daughter can now be left alone to study on her own.


  3. Came across your site while researching about the new grading system.

    I’m a private tutor but I agree with your decision. Parents should tutor their kids as long as they can. They are still the best teachers. This is also the reason why homeschooling is becoming popular nowadays.


    • Thank you for your wonderful comment Teacher_Sie. I’m not built for homeschooling but tutoring is something that I refuse to “outsource”. Thanks again.


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