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Is 2 Hours of Tutoring Too Much? Science Answers

Students may need different levels of tuition based on different reasons, such as their academic performance, objectives, and considerations. This article will discuss the effects of tutoring according to the duration.

How Much Tutoring Is The Right Amount?

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Students will require varied amounts of tuition based on several considerations:

  • Present Academic Standing: The more they struggle academically now, the harder they will work to enhance their performance.
  • Goals: The greater their ambitions, the harder they will work to achieve them.
  • Grade level: The more experienced the student, the more challenging the content and the greater the effort required to make progress.
  • Work Ethic: The more effort required to improve, the lower the student’s work ethic and motivation.
  • Standards at their School: The quicker their academic course progresses, the more challenging their academic tasks become, and the greater the effort needed to progress.
  • Time Frame: The more effort it takes, the faster they want to achieve their goal.

The considerations mentioned above will evolve as each student advances, and the level of tutoring required will correspondingly evolve.

The Universal Experience of “Getting Stuck”

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This is a common experience for math students. The teacher explains a concept, and the student understands and can solve some problems independently. However, when students try to work independently, they get stuck. They wait for the next tutorial to get help and can feel unconfident in class. This cycle can be very damaging to a student’s progress.

The reason for this might be that the entire tutoring session is consumed by addressing all of the student’s unanswered questions. Perhaps there wasn’t sufficient time to thoroughly slow down and guarantee a deep understanding of every concept in the lesson. The student might have been focused on covering as much content as possible rather than comprehending as much as possible. Possibly, there wasn’t adequate time for practical application during the tutorial.

In any case, simply “getting through” material is ineffective as it fails to foster genuine understanding. When students eventually encounter difficulties while working independently, this can significantly hinder their motivation and progress.

How many hours of private tutoring per week? 2hrs? 4hrs?

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1 Hour Fortnightly

This arrangement works well for students who are performing satisfactorily but encounter occasional difficulties with their work. It allows the tutor to assist with sporadic issues, support the student in maintaining their performance, strategize for occasional exams, and offer help with any non-critical challenges that arise.

1 Hour Weekly Tutor Time

An hour of weekly private tutoring can generally assist the student in reinforcing the material covered in the past week and allow for the review of upcoming assignments. However, if the student is already struggling to keep up, one hour of tutoring, while beneficial, may not be sufficient. If your child aims to significantly improve in a short time frame, one hour is usually inadequate. Remember that the tutor must address any unresolved queries, take the time to ensure true understanding, conduct and review revisions, assess exams, and provide exam practice. It’s simply too much to regularly accomplish within a single hour, especially for high school students.

This approach is most suitable for elementary students who are not struggling significantly and high school students who need only a minor boost.

1.5 Hours Weekly Tutor Time

Similar to the 1-hour-per-week option, this option consists of only one session per week and is fairly convenient and easy to manage. However, the extra half an hour allows the tutor to take their time when needed. This means that the tutor can slow down and ensure that the student fully understands a concept or question, creating that “aha, I get it!” experience for the student and providing extra time for practice. This difference is truly significant.

Additionally, the extra time provides an opportunity to go over material that is satisfactory but not excellent, revise, examine test papers, make schedules, and improve study habits and organizational skills, as well as engage in other tasks.

This choice is typically unsuitable for elementary school students who may struggle to remain seated for 1.5 hours. It is best suited for secondary school students aiming for a modest enhancement. Nonetheless, if a student is in grade 11 or 12 and needs significant improvement, this choice might not be adequate.

1 Hour Twice per Week Tutor Time

The optimal choice for achieving high results in a shorter time frame is often considered to be two hours of tutoring per week. This arrangement offers students a more consistent and flexible schedule, allowing them to make the most of each private tutoring session while focusing on their individual needs without feeling pressured. Typically, clients schedule a one-hour lesson on two different days of the week. Through this increased interaction with the private tutor, students can easily gain confidence in their abilities and may even surpass their peers, setting them on the path to success.

This arrangement prevents the experience of feeling stuck and enables more continuous progress with fewer breaks in the student’s advancement, motivation, and self-assurance. The student never remains stuck for more than 1-2 days. Simultaneously, the instructor will have sufficient opportunity to proceed comfortably and ensure that the student truly comprehends the material, leading to those rare “aha” moments. It also allows time dedicated to reviewing, practising exams, cultivating study habits, and developing organizational skills.

It is essential for students who are significantly behind and require substantial improvements. This is the only way to consistently avoid getting stuck. It is also the best choice for students in grades 11-12 who aspire to excel but have not achieved that level yet. Grades 11 and 12 bring a growing workload and increasingly challenging content, making it a challenging period. Additionally, success in grades 11 and 12 depends on exam strategies and study routines, which also require time.

Why Two-Hour Tutoring Sessions Per Week?

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Generally, the greater the amount of private tutoring a student receives, the faster they will improve; this is quite self-evident. Simply put, you should ensure that the amount of tutoring provided allows the tutor to do more than simply answer your child’s specific questions.

Under ideal circumstances, students should receive an extended period of regular, intensive tutoring to catch up with their class and develop independent learning skills. Once they have achieved this, they can either reduce the frequency of tutoring or discontinue it altogether. Short—to medium-term intensive tutoring is far more effective than long-term passive tutoring.

Some parents choose to have only one hour of tutoring per week. They frequently reschedule or skip sessions for holidays, weekends away, or if the child is sick or has other commitments after school. While this is their prerogative, it significantly slows progress because the student is always trying to catch up. This method also encourages reliance on the tutor, as the student is consistently behind and relying on the tutor’s help rather than reaching a point where they are consistently caught up and confident in their ability to learn independently.

Please remember that the following is general advice and the most relevant considerations from our perspective. Every situation is unique, and the best way to determine how much tutoring your child needs is by talking to your child and your tutor after the first 1-2 lessons.

It’s also important to consider what your child is comfortable with. If they strongly oppose the idea of tutoring and are likely to resist putting in the effort, it would be better to start them with 1 hour per week and gain their support first rather than insisting on 2 hours per week (even if they need it). We want to avoid creating a situation where they resist tutoring and resent making an effort.

When Is Tutoring Too Much?

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Tutoring can serve as a valuable, enriching supplement to an individual’s education and can be highly effective in helping them accomplish their objectives. Nevertheless, excessive tutoring can be detrimental, both for the child and the tutor! Let’s explore a few indicators that it might be time to reduce the amount of tutoring.

For the child:

Both parents and effective tutors can identify these signs, and it’s important to maintain open lines of communication.

  • Fatigue – If your student constantly seems tired during lessons, they may be overexerting themselves. While you should ensure they’re not simply staying up late every night instead of getting enough sleep, there are occasions when a student’s schedule is too packed, and additional hours of tutoring will be more harmful than helpful.
  • Disengaged in School – It’s wonderful when students are eager to be intellectually challenged by their tutoring and discover new and fascinating subjects that complement their education. However, issues may arise if the tutoring sessions align with the school curriculum but proceed much faster. In such cases, students may become disengaged during regular classes and lose interest in school and learning. Despite this, it’s important not to completely halt tutoring. Instead, the lessons can be diversified to align with students’ interests and incorporate engaging projects. These lessons are often highly fulfilling and enjoyable for both the student and the tutor, ensuring that the student continues to be intellectually stimulated without compromising their learning in school.
  • Frequent Bad Behaviour During Tuition Sessions – Children can have rough days, and there are times when having additional sessions after school or on weekends may lead to some resistance or frustration. This is a common expectation for both tutors and parents. However, if a child consistently shows distress or anger when the tutor arrives, consistently tries to avoid the lesson, and displays disruptive behaviour throughout, causing the tutor to spend more time on discipline rather than teaching. It may be necessary to take a break from tutoring. It ultimately depends on the specific situation, but generally, if a child strongly dislikes their lessons, forcing them to continue may not be beneficial for their education, and it can also be very challenging for the tutor.

For the tutor:

This is more difficult to determine. We are all adults, and our ability to earn enough to cover rent often influences how much tutoring we engage in. However, it’s important to be mindful of certain warning signs.

  • Confusion – It may seem silly, but when you have many students, they can start to blend, especially if you teach the same subject to students of similar ages. Managing different students and families is all part of the job. However, if you’re mixing up which homework you assigned to which student, who is struggling with which topic, or which location you’re supposed to be at, then perhaps it’s time to take a step back and reduce your workload.
  • For the benefit of the pupil – This is closely related to the previous list, but at times, it is the tutor’s responsibility to decline additional tutoring. It is natural for parents to feel very concerned about their child’s education, and it is the professional tutor’s role to advocate for more lessons or to provide reassurance that they are unnecessary. While some students may require extra lessons, we often must highlight the time remaining for exam preparation, the progress already achieved, the student’s young age, and the importance of playing and relaxing. Whether for better or for worse, tutors are perceived as experts regarding the student’s needs, and at times, our primary task may be to remind the parents that they are the ones who understand their child best and that everything will be fine.
  • If you start hating it – At times, we all must fulfill obligations we dislike to maintain our livelihood. However, if your feelings start to shift, it’s important to address them. It is more damaging to loathe hours of teaching a child than to dislike a different job. Children are perceptive and will pick up on this, which could impact their attitude towards learning and their relationship with you. There are numerous strategies to rekindle your passion for teaching, such as seeking support and guidance from parents of challenging pupils and creating engaging projects or unconventional lesson plans. If none of these methods proves effective and you still dread interacting with your students, it may be time to take a break from tutoring and reflect on your next career move.

None of these are definite, and most students (as well as tutors) experience difficult periods with one-on-one tutoring. However, these are intended to be a useful initial guide for determining whether you require an additional weekly lesson.

If you want undivided attention for your child, TCS has a lot of tutoring options that you can choose from. Whether you want online or one-on-one tutoring sessions for your child, TuitionCentre SG has an experienced tutor to help your child achieve success in school!

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