As parents, we are concerned about our children’s education and want them to be able to score better. Many times, we are not sure of what is the best way to support them – enrichment or tuition? Education experts from Marshall Cavendish Education answer these questions from readers of theAsianparent.
When it comes to our children’s education, we parents want to do all that we can to ensure that they get the best options and score well.
To help our children in this quest, we often turn to tuition and enrichment centres for help. The question is, do our children really need those lessons?
According to the experts from Marshall Cavendish Education, there are three things to consider before deciding if our children need enrichment or tuition classes
The panel of experts includes: Lee Knight, Chitra Pillay Chua, Dr Yeap Ban Har and Michelle Choo.
#1: What kind of support is the school providing my children?
Children’s academic grades are often the deciding factor for parents to consider enrichment or tuition classes. When grades decline, 2 reasons that come to parents' mind are usually:
- My children do not understand what is being taught
- My children are being tested for something that the teacher has not completed teaching
For a start, you could take the time to understand how your children’s current school has addressed these concerns by attending the Parent Teacher Conference (PTC) and speaking directly to the teachers. Find out how well your children are coping in class and reason why they are still not doing well and what the school or the teacher has been doing about it. With this feedback, it will be easier to determine which is the best way forward to help your children.
You will also be heartened to know that the Ministry of Education, Singapore (MOE) has in place a system to ensure that no child gets left behind. Apart from the many initiatives that have been implemented to support your children, MOE has also taken measures to ensure that teachers do not merely cover syllabus but also have more opportunities for students to explore and enjoy the topics taught.
The “Teach Less, Learn More” (TLLM) movement introduced in 2006, allowed for more student-centric learning where content has been reduced across subjects, and lessons are differentiated to provide more time to engage students in their learning.
The class size has also been reduced to 30 for Primary 1 and 2 since 2004 and allied educators have been introduced in schools to help students who have learning needs to cope with their work.
With the present system and support in place, students should be able to thrive with the support provided by schools as they abide by MOE initiatives to become ‘Every school, a Good School’.
#2: The real reason behind your children's struggle with homework
Children’s ability to independently complete their homework is also another indicator that parents look out for. Homework allows your children to practice applying the concepts learnt and methods imparted in class.
There might be some challenging questions which may require your children to think about, but those questions are definitely within the syllabus covered.
You can try and understand the genuine reason behind your children’s difficulties by finding out:
- Their learning style
- Your children may be an auditory learner but have only been exposed to learning things visually.
- Their performance in the subject thus far
- Do not assume that they are weak in a particular subject if they are only weak in one or two topics from the subject
- Their interests
- Help them see the relevance in learning their least favourite subjects. It can motivate them and help them strive for better results
- If they have approached the teacher for help
- If they have language issues trying to comprehend the questions
What are some of other concerns that parents have regarding enrichment classes and tuition for their children. What do our experts have to say? Head on to the next page to find out.