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How to Move On After HBL

The untold story of Mrs Lee.

Mrs Lee managed to enrol her two daughters into a reputable Primary School.  She was hoping that the good quality teachings and positive school culture could develop her own children to be the cream of the crop.  This was so that a good secondary IP school would be within their reach. 

To her dismay, upon looking at the latest school result slips, her two daughters did not do as well as expected.  The girls obtained less than average results. 

Upon networking with the parents of her elder daughter’s classmates, Mrs Lee realised that she had to do something.

Most of the children in her elder daughter’s class received some form of tuition and majority of them were attending tuition group lessons at a popular tuition centre that came with a hefty tuition fee. 

Mrs Lee enrolled both her daughters into a centre without fail and thought that there was hope.  However, after attending the fast-paced lessons at the tuition centre for 6 months, she had a rude shock!

Both her daughters did not do well for their subsequent examinations and their results remained stagnant.  After having a long conversation with her daughters to find out more, her elder daughter shared that the lessons conducted by the tuition centre were not customised to her needs.

On the eve of her English composition examination, her daughter had to complete two sets of oral practices during the tuition lesson instead of practicing for her composition examination. It was not beneficial for her as the tasks for every tuition lesson was decided by the tuition centre.  Furthermore, as she was also very shy, she did not ask any questions during the group lesson. Thus, gaps from her current ways of learning became evident.

Currently with schools resuming daily lessons after a period of home-based Learning, what should be the future directions for Mrs Lee?

What should Mrs Lee do next?

The above scenario is not new to most Singaporean parents.  The sense of helplessness is very common as all parents want their children to excel and move on to their ideal schools.  Although there is an overwhelming number of tuition centres in Singapore, there are still parents who truly believe in home tuition due to the customised nature of the lessons.  The colourful words and catchy slogans of tuition centres had attracted parents, like me, to believe that certain methodologies that only those specific tuition centres can offer worked best for our children’s learning.  Unfortunately, the main challenge that we parents face, is that we do not have the time to explore different centres and finally settle with one ideal centre that we hope would really help our children’s learning.

Benefits of home tuition

After gathering their courage, many parents who have switched from group to home tuition, have discovered that it was exactly what their children needed; for children who might be reserved and passive in classroom settings have been able to benefit from personalised home tuition.  It can be said that many tuition centres have become another typical school classroom lesson with minimal customisation to suit the learners.

Many parents also realised that before major examinations, much stress can be relieved when the home tutor revises the main crucial concepts as well as the areas of weakness of the student. 

Additionally, if some children are better in certain chapters compared to their peers, why waste time sitting in class going through those chapters again?  Wouldn’t it be more effective if the child uses that time spent to learn some chapters that they need help with?

This was the main reason why many parents are still turning to home tuition in Singapore.  Along with the freedom to fit the tuition lessons into busy schedule of the child, the curriculum can also be customised to the needs of the child.

For example, timely homework help can be provided to relieve the stress of the child.  In addition, should there be an urgent need to have more sessions or prolong the duration of the tuition session, it can be easily arranged.  Another benefit shared by a parent was that no time is wasted on travelling and finding parking spaces at popular locations of the tuition centres.

When the rapport with the tutor is established, shy students will then able to open up and start to ask questions to clarify doubts that that would be a major milestone in the child’s learning.  Another benefit of having tuition sessions at home is that the child can learn in their own familiar environment.  No adjustment period is needed. 

Positive dynamic offered by group tuition

There may be another group of parents who beg to differ.  In view of the need to allow their children to socialise with peers in order to be developed into confident individuals in a class setting, group tuition is the way to go.  Some students indeed learn best with the healthy peer competition that arises from the group tuition settings.  They would also be having a chance to be engaged in discussions that allows alternative viewpoints, it could be extremely beneficial as well.  

Which to choose?

In the light of measures such as social distancing due to COVID-19, online coaching may be taking place predominantly.  Many parents have much hesitations when it comes to allow their child to attend face to face lessons at centres.  If the online mode of learning is preferred, another question to ask is whether would it be more beneficial for the child to learn online just with the tutor alone or in a big group settings.  Well, there is really no answer to it.  It all depends on the set expectations and needs of such tuition sessions.  Another possibility is of a blended approach where there can be both online as well as face to face sessions.  To a certain extent, 1-1 private coaching may complement the students’ learning after a long period of home-based learning.  It may effectively bridge the learning gaps to prepare for the next formal school assessment.

To conclude, parents know best of the specific needs of the child.  Do what you can to support that unique learning needs so that your child can learn with ease and relieve some stress and fear of learning and doing well in school. 

We are very mindful of the stress and challenges of parents and students.  Thus, a new concept for parents by parents, has been created.  Educators Network is a new online tuition matching service established in Singapore.  It is the first of its kind in the education landscape to incorporate the following features:

  • A web version synchronised with our mobile applications (iOS and android) that allow parents to alternate between using their mobile phones or their laptop/desktops to make a tutor request
  • Option to pay monthly home tuition fees using any local accepted credit cards at zero fee!
  • Highly parents-centric support your individual needs
  • Viewing our educators’ profiles
  • Caters for additional ad-hoc or intensive tuition sessions such as just before examinations or during the vacation. (eg. This is really useful especially in situations where the students’ regular tutor is suddenly unavailable to cater to these needs)
  • Useful articles for parents and students as reference
  • Premium chat consultation service where parents can chat with a highly qualified and experienced education consultant who can advise parents on issues such as the unique learning needs of the students concerned. (Our team of experienced education consultants consist of ex MOE school teachers and NIE lecturers who are also parents themselves, who understand the challenges faced by Singapore parents and can even provide a pillar of emotional support in times of need.  Nominal fees apply.)

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