So perhaps, after reading our miniseries on the difficulties of self-study, you have decided your child would benefit from a tuition centre. You have done your research, spoken to other parents, gotten reviews and recommendations. You’ve spent numerous nights looking over the brochures and flyers for any number of tuition options.
After much thought and consideration of cost, convenience and tutor qualifications – you have finally narrowed down your options to two or three choices. But as you glance over these possibilities, you can’t seem to make a decision. What do you want from tuition? What does your child need? What are the things which you should be looking out for?
Troubled, perhaps you make a small wish that there was a list, a manual to help identify what you need to look out for. Maybe you begin to wish that there were a checklist of some sort to help inform your decision. A checklist that looked a little like this:
A child learns best under a teacher that understands their learning habits and learning needs. Does the tuition centre in question have a proven record of helping their teachers gain such an understanding of the students?
A key part of the learning process is keeping track of mistakes and errors, as well as effectively tracking any improvements that the student makes. If this tracking is left completely to human faculties, the sheer number and variety of details to keep track of may overwhelm the teacher, causing them to lose track of some details. Does the tuition centre under consideration have a streamlined, effective way of keeping track of your child’s progress over time?
☑Specialised Teaching Methods
Selecting a tuition centre that will only teach subjects the same way they are taught in schools is a rather pointless course of action. If the centre is merely teaching the same way the school teachers teach, does that not render the services of the tuition centre redundant? In that case, it is clearly more beneficial to select a tuition centre which has a unique teaching method that differentiates it from others, while achieving the goal of excelling in the school exams. Does the tuition centre being evaluated have some special, unique method of teaching that sets it apart? And more importantly, is that method suited to your child’s needs?
☑Adaptability of Curriculum
Each student learns differently, at a different speed, in a different manner. The draw of tuition is that it allows teachers to work with smaller class sizes, allowing for the teacher to pay more attention to each individual student. However, many education centres group their students into classes. Although the class size is smaller, this still dilutes the amount of attention that can be accorded to any one student, which may create the risk of your child falling behind his peers. Despite the limiting environment, does the prospective tuition centre have a way of adjusting their curriculum to meet your child’s needs?
☑Tuition Centre Environment
The general environment provided by a tuition centre is of utmost importance. Creating a conducive environment for study helps to maintain focus and increases the effectiveness of study. But what exactly is a conducive environment? Ideally, you would want a centre in a location with few external distractions. It is important to make sure that students are focused on their work, but the centre should not be closed or built in a way that makes the student feel confined. The chairs and tables should be comfortable for the children. If the centre in question offers a trial class, ask your child whether he finds the environment comfortable. It is equally important for the student to feel comfortable and at ease when they study. Does the tuition centre under deliberation have an ideal learning environment?
☑Sources of Motivation
Keeping a student motivated is key to making sure their attempts at study are fruitful and effective. Motivation can come in various forms, such as offering rewards, or being shown a visual indicator of their improvement. Different students respond differently to different forms of motivation. Regardless of how the student is motivated, a good tuition centre will have the means to capitalise on it and provide motivation for your child to excel. Does the tuition centre you’re considering have a concrete plan for keeping their students motivated?
Choosing an education centre for your child is a challenging task: There are many tuition centres, with many different approaches to teaching. The key is to select an education centre which can stand out from the rest and can offer your child all he needs to excel. With that in mind, we hope that this checklist has been of some use in helping inform your decision. Deciding between tuition centres can be challenging, but the rewards which your child might reap from a well-chosen centre are undeniably great.