Are you/your child taking PSLE or stepping up to Sec 1 next year? This is a very important milestone of your/your child's life. Are so, are you thinking whether tuition/enrichment is necessary? Well, we provide 3 factors that we think why students should take tuition classes and things to look out for when selecting one.
1. Every student is different
If we think about it, every student in school is different. Each young mind thinks differently, has a different absorption rate and a different way of understanding things. In school, the classes are too large, thus it's very hard to monitor and analysise each student's learning rate. The schools' solution for this are periodical tests and assessments. But isn't the common notion of tests and exams the "end goal"? Isn't it a downward spiral effect when a student who already could not grasp the concepts taught in school, gets back a test paper with low scores and gets demotivated, resulting in the loss of interest in the subject?
Conversely, another scenario is when students consistently achieve good grades but can't break through the glass ceiling to achieve that little more. These students, although doing well, may also be demotivated.
Well, tuition classes would help to stem this and help students learn and apply techniques and strategies that are not taught in schools. Why? Most tuition classes are either 1-to-1 or in small groups. In this set-up, the tutor or teacher will be able to pay more attention to each student and monitor each student's learning rate. The teacher also has more room to manoeuvre to customise the class to increase the effectiveness in learning for each student. Obviously, the effectiveness has to take into consideration the quality of teaching and the methods amongst others. This is why tuition is still so important and good tuition brands are so effective.
Good tuition brands are effective because they use unique teaching methodologies that are not just repeating what is taught in schools. They go the extra mile to explain concepts to students and ensure they understand the concepts. So when you are considering the different tuition options, you may want to consider how they teach, and if they impart any unique learning methods.
2. Personal guidance
If a student constantly performs well in class, teachers may pay less attention to him/her as a result. This is akin to a mother splitting her attention to the more naughty kids because the "good" one can "take care of him/herself". Yes, the student performs well in class, but that may not mean that he/she is "good to go". Good results are not the 'be all and end all' of education. Tuition helps bring personal guidance to these students and all other students to adopt a consistent learning attitude and bring about constant discovery of one's abilities.
School guidance is limited to within the school curriculum, including additional lessons offered by the schools. Occasionally we see the examplary teachers going above and beyond to help students. But most of the time, most of the learning has to start from the self. There's a quote "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand" by Confucious. Students 'hear' and 'see' during school. But they often 'do' away from school, be it in the library or at home for example. Self-learning can be beneficial, but at a young age, having someone experienced to guide him/her along when doing practice can greatly enhance the learning ability of the young student.
A good tutor/teacher will bring about new and improved learning techniques, foster greater cohesiveness with teachers and peers (in a group learning setting) and accelerate learning.
This is harder to scrutinise when looking for the right tuition. That is why many good tuition centres/tutors thrive on word-of-mouth and peer recommendations. Big tuition centres or "star tutors" may lack these quality in their teachers - sincere, caring & approachable. It is good to talk to a tutor before you enroll your child/yourself for the tuition. Also, do note how they talk, if they talk to you personally, whether they go the extra mile to understand your child/your academic standard etc. Do not just look at academic qualifications.
3. Conducive environment
Where else can you find an environment as conducive for learning other than the schools? At home, there are thousands of distractions that disrupt a student's attention. In public, there are another set of distractions ready to take over a student's mind. We have all heard this phrase before - practice makes perfect - and this is especially true in Maths. However, practice when totally-focused is much more effective than practice when distracted.
This is the reason why some students can still manage a pass if they start studying a month before the exams. It is because they have the fear of failure and the fear heightens their focus on their studies during that month. However, if this focus can be consistent throughout the year, facilitated by a conducive environment, results will definitely be much better and the stress, so much lesser.
Good 1-to-1 tuitions and tuition centres are a way to find a conducive environment for students to practice their concepts. In addition, they can clarify anything that they are unsure of with an expert immediately.
Contrary to popular belief, a quiet and comfortable place doesn't equate to a conducive environment. A conducive environment is one where help is readily available and the setting of the environment encourages the concept of improvement and focus.
If you are looking for home tuition, try looking out for flexible tutors that understand how to adapt your environment to make it conducive for study. Else, it is good to find a tuition that is equipped with learning tools.
All in all, tuition is important, but as you can see with the title of this article, these reasons are for "why students should go for tuition" and not "why parents should send their kids for tuition". Even before one considers getting tuition, he/she has to have a positive mental attitude towards tuition and if forced to go for one, even the most effective tuition centres/tutors will have a tough time performing miracles.
If you are keen on getting a good tuition for yourself/your child, do check us out or search for tuition services with the above qualities. Do note that tuition services do not have a contract with you/your child so you may want to try out a centre for a short term and see if it is effective for you/him/her.
For parents, do remember to ask your child for feedback often to understand the effectiveness of the tuition that you enrol him/her. Sometimes, results may not improve instantly but you may start to see changes in your kid's learning attitude or the way he/she describes his/her schoolwork with you. This is more valuable than seeing instant improvements and you may want to give the tuition service a longer time to help your child.