01 AUGUST 2022 | TAN JIA XUAN
Like most Asian children, I grew up with tuition classes. Some of us had it easier than the others; perhaps with only two subjects being tutored, or only had tuition classes for a short period of time. I was pretty lucky with only 3 tuition classes for 3 years, since my results started to “look better” after those years — but I knew friends who had worse.
Parents always seem to associate more tuition classes with better results, and since there has been proven theories, it hammers the last nail to the coffin for the children. I could remember a conversation I had with my 15 years-old cousin, who is having all 6 subjects tutored and have almost no rest days at all.
“I really can’t do this anymore, jie.” Whined my poor cousin. I could only helplessly laugh and sigh on her behalf. I never understood the craze over tuition and if we really needed that extra push that costs so much. I had a natural biasness against tuition classes, albeit my results did improve after the 3 years of classes for each subject. Where is the balance in rest days and schooling? Is help from school teachers inadequate? How about those who did not receive tuition classes? Will they be lacking then?
Back then, all I knew was it was dreadful to go to tuition classes, where practice papers were tenfold harder than the ones in school. However, interning in Spring College International (SCI) allowed me to understand how preparatory courses work, which can be rather similar to tuition.
Time Is Spent Studying
I am guilty for always promising myself that I will finish my homework at home, but I end up lazing around in the house, doing everything except homework. Most of my homework are done outside of my home — even until now. In schools, there is a large class for the teacher to oversee, and not be able to stay attentive to every student in class. However, tuition class size are at a smaller scale, which allows the teacher have more time with each student instead. This means there is no “space” for students to lose focus or be distracted.
Personalised Learning Style
Schools tend to apply the same method of learning across the cohort, due to the number of students they have to attend to. With tuition classes, teachers are going to understand the learning styles of each student, so it is easier for them to understand the class materials. This way, the students are able to pick up knowledge and skills faster, improving their results.
Verbal Feedback Given
Not that school teachers don’t give feedbacks, it’s just that it’s not a detailed one. Since tuition classes are of a smaller scale, it is also simpler for teachers to see the progress of each student. Students are also able to make requests; such as slowing down the pace of class, repeating important points, and more.
Positive Work Space
A smaller class = Fewer distractions
Similar to other work spaces, the environment provided in tuition centers are less noisy and more productive. With everyone working on their papers too, it creates a positive work space.
Innovative Teaching Methods
SCI’s teaching staff have a strong background and teaching experience, which enables them to have various teaching methods for different types of students. SCI also encourages outdoor learning, to not bore the students and switch up the learning methods.
Class materials are given based on the needs of the students instead of a one-size-fits-all resources. Regular meetings are also held in SCI to review if the materials are up to date and relevant to the education syllabus.
Internet System Management
There is an online system for SCI students that allows parents stay updated on the child’s progress, as well as to provide a space for communication between the teacher, parent, and student. This way, both the students and teachers will be more aware of what has been done well and what needs to be improved.
There are many reasons for us as students to be not be able to focus on our work. Subject is too boring, just too tired to think, too much to do, so on and so forth… What I can suggest is to:
This method involves teamwork and self-discipline (or disciplining each other) in order to make it work. Throughout my polytechnic years, I always have a study buddy with me to do projects, study for exams and such.
Studying can be a tough, boring process for most. Reading books and understanding concepts on your own is usually not the best way to stay focused. Having a study buddy can kill some of that boredom. What better way to bond over books?
Knowing that there is someone else on the same road as you, working towards the same goal feels more reassuring than when you are on it your own. You will have someone to keep you on track, so fear not of getting lost on your own!
It would be great to have a study buddy who is strong at subjects that you aren’t, so you can learn from each other. Imagine having a friend as a personal tutor teaching you on subjects. It makes the learning process more fun!
There are generally two forms that Study-With-Me (SWM) videos can take:
The main purpose of SWM videos is to motivate like-minded viewers to focus and become more productive in their work. Such videos are usually aesthetically-pleasing to the eye, accompanied with background music that is calming or white noise. On top of that, there would be a pomodoro timer to show how much time has passed. So, how does SWM videos help then?
Personally, I can distracted too easily; by the wrong choice of songs on my Spotify playlist, my eyes slowly blurring out when I go onto autopilot mode, et cetera. SWM videos help with the urge to do anything else because your screen is already occupied with it.
Always not consistent with the amount of time you study? SWM videos may just solve that for you. I always struggle with sticking to the time I set for myself, always ending my study session earlier than I intended — which can be a very frustrating thing. Following a certain, specific timing can greatly help cultivate the habit!
The pandemic has forcefully placed everyone in quarantine, longer than anyone could handle. It heightened the sense of loneliness and many were more than eager to get out of that situation. SWM videos can help cope with that when you’re studying at home or alone. It puts you and the creator in the same “situation”, where both of you are putting in effort to get work done.
It is ultimately YOUR choice to make an effort. There are many methods out there to steer you in the right direction, and more often than not; SOMETHING would fit in your style of learning. If you have not learnt anything from this blog, at least take this away: Take the first step.
That is often the hardest; to start a routine, do the first nudge. But once you get a hang of it, it gets easier. Habits are cultivated, and habits are hard to stop. So make working towards your goal a habit, and always remember to take breaks in the middle to avoid burnouts.
Tuition classes are definitely a huge push if you are looking for a constant, positive space to improve your results with extensive resources. Don’t worry about how small each effort look like at the moment, it will accumulate and turn into something big! It will pay off before you know it when you reach your goal.
It puts a smile to my face to understand SCI’s system and the teaching plans they have for the students. While the students are studying hard in preparation of their examinations, the teachers and management team do not neglect the children’s wellbeing to rest and have fun when it’s time. There are planned class activities for learning to take place outside the classroom setting and to enjoy themselves! I have also read several student blogs, one in particular by XiaoSong, a Chinese international student studying O-Levels and how his weekend plans look like. It is definitely heartwarming to see students enjoying their time in Singapore while working towards their goals.
Author: Tan Jia Xuan
Editor. (2019, February 28). 5 Benefits Of Having Tuition To Help Your Child’s Education. People’s Park Centre. Retrieved August 19, 2022, from https://www.peoplesparkcentre.sg/2019/02/28/5-benefits-of-having-tuition-to-help-your-childs-education/#:%7E:text=At%20school%2C%20students%20may%20not,on%20the%20task%20at%20hand
Benefits of Tutoring – How Does Tutoring Help Students? (2017, February 14). Oxford Learning. https://www.oxfordlearning.com/benefits-of-tutoring/
Liu, J. (2022, January 20). 10 Benefits of Having Tuition: A Student’s Perspective | Parents’ Guide. Parents’ Guide. https://parentsguide.asia/enrichment-programmes/10-benefits-tuition-students-perspective
Spring College International. (2021, November 11). Why choose Spring College International. https://www.spring.edu.sg/prospective-students/why-choose-spring-college-international/