5 reasons why small group learning works wonders for your child
By Grace Tan
Many parents search high and low for the most suitable and effective enrichment & tuition programmes for their children. Why do many parents ultimately choose small group learning centres? These are the parents who tell of reasons like, “my child is so bored with one-to-one tuition”, “my child cannot focus in large group tuition classes and in school, where class sizes are so big.”
Many parents question if small group learning is as effective as one-to-one teaching? Based on our years of experience, that of many educational experts, the benefits of small group tuition far outweighs one-to-one or large group sessions. When parents start seeing the difference small group learning makes to their child- they become totally convinced that they had made the right choice.
Here are the top 5 reasons why small group learning works wonders for your child:
A Customized Approach For Every Child
Experienced teachers and a Centre with good quality programmes would be able to customize the learning experience for their students. This is something that a student would miss out on in a large group learning environment. Parents are often appreciative when they find a centre that is willing to tailor their programmes to meet the learning needs and pace of their child. Such would only be possible in a small group learning environment.
Encouraging Independent Learning
This is an important trait that successful students have. The ability to work towards a goal on their own, without parents and teachers nagging at them. A small group tuition environment cultivates independent study habits and thinking skills. Time is set aside for group learning, and the tutor explains a concept to the group, allocates a task, and then encourages students to do work on their own – which they can only do if they’ve understood the concepts that have been explained. The tutor will cross check if the child has grasped the concept before moving on, rather than moving on because there is a need to move on. If the child is stuck, the teacher is there to guide him, ensuring that he is on track and making progress. Children learn best when they are “hands-on” and fully engaged. They achieve much more by accomplishing tasks independently and not just by listening to the teacher standing in front of the class, handing them answers. Learning is a journey and the process of getting there is far more important than the outcome itself.
A Higher Level of Engagement Leading to An Increased Interest in The Subject Taught
Small group classes work like magic when it comes to igniting or reviving a child’s interest in a subject. A parent who enrolled her child (from a non-Mandarin speaking family) in our Mandarin Show and Tell, Read and Write class tells us how her child lost interest in conversational mandarin even though he had been taking the subject since he was in Kindergarten. He has been struggling with the subject since entering Primary 1 as it’s tough for anyone to excel in something that they do not like. It turns out that he had a lot that he wanted to say but did not have the means to do it. After attending our classes where our teachers patiently took time to listen to and answer all his queries, and adding a creative twist to his classes, his interest in the language was revived! He was suddenly so excited about the language and eventually did very well in his recent mid-year examinations.
Another classic case study is that of a K2 student who could not even write his Chinese name when he joined us. He absolutely refused to speak, read or write any Chinese characters at home. After attending our programme for six months, we are proud to say that he is doing very well in his Primary 1 Chinese classes, speaking out loudly during his show and tell session and topping his class in word recognition. Truly, we feel so proud when we see our students succeeding in the areas which they use to “underperform”.
The Power of Positive Group Dynamics
We believe in the power of positive peer influence, where everyone takes a turn to give it a try! In a group, since everyone is trying, why not I give it a try too! It is no doubt that students learn better by speaking up in class, by raising their hands, asking questions and contributing ideas. Children need assurance that they are not the only ones needing extra help. Any feelings of nervousness soon disappear as they find company in their peers where everyone else is concentrating on the tasks assigned.
A Dare to Ask and Answer Environment
We like the idea of a child being in an environment where he feels secure to ask all the questions he has. In an intimate small group setting, it is less intimidating and each child has more opportunities to ask questions and receive an answer. When students get to have all their questions answered, all their doubts cleared, such an empowering environment allows them to take charge of their learning and they come to realise that how much they ultimately learn is how much they want to learn. Such a learning experience keeps students motivated and in charge of their own learning. As a result of the high level of involvement, with the teacher and their peers, they come to enjoy the sessions immensely and look forward to class each week.
Have your child experienced the wonders of small group learning yet? Give it a try today!