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Pre-K Prep A Growing Trend In The Triangle

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CARY, N.C. — As academic pressure grows on the littlest learners, so does toddler tutoring.

Shirley Wang tutors pre-kindergarten students at

Kumon Math and Reading Center

in Cary.

"We have a variety of activities, flash cards, number boards, ABC and math boards," Wang says.

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    Of roughly 50 pre-kindergarten students at Kumon, most are about 5 years old. But Wang says she even tutors students as young as 3-1/2 years old.

    "Some parents even call when they're 2 years old," Wang says.

    A growing number of children are beginning tutoring before they even go to kindergarten at centers such as Kumon, and

    Sylvan Learning Center

    "I just want to give her as many tools as she can use to better herself to progress herself so that when she is an adult she can do whatever she wants to do," says Nikki Barnes, whose daughter attends Kumon.

    Many of the students who go to Kumon for tutoring often get one to two grade levels ahead of their peers. For example, one 4-year-old's received a grade of 100 on the kind of math most children do not learn until first grade.

    "I have had friends say that kids that go to Kumon are generally a step ahead in class," says parent Divya Thomas. "And who wouldn't want that?"

    Some child experts say toddler tutoring is OK, but warn kids need balance.

    "In my practice, I see so many kids these days younger and younger that have anxiety and have stress and are just going at it from so many different ends," says psychologist Dr. Sandra Wartski. "Kids need time to relax and have childhoods."

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