Which Is More Cost-Effective: Home vs. Group Tuition Rates

As students progress through their education journey, it should come as no surprise that their curriculums get more and more complicated. While some students do seem to grasp difficult and challenging concepts with little struggle, the majority of them will inevitably encounter a situation that requires a little boost of help!

As such, many tend to turn to seeking tuition as the best solution to this problem. Additionally, in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, more students seem to be struggling to keep up, given the sudden jarring switch from physical to online learning.

The rise of online learning might also pose quite a problem for younger students who are more prone to distractions. Behind the screens, teachers are less able to micromanage their students and many run the risk of rearing off their studies.

Thus, more might start turning to tuition in order to avoid these possibilities. 

However, this is where parents might encounter a difficulty in making a decision- whether to seek home or grouped tuition.

As parents, naturally, a main concern when deciding if your child should take up tuition is the cost or tuition rates, as tuition, in most cases, certainly does not come cheap! However, it is also imperative to note that when deciding on getting tuition for your child, that you also consider their learning styles and needs.

It goes without saying that every student has their own unique learning style that suits them the best. So, simply looking at the costs might not be the most effective way to go about things.

Thus, this article serves to help break down the cost-effectiveness of home versus grouped tuition to help you make a decision!

Comparing the costs of home versus grouped tuition

Before we delve into the nitty gritty of home and grouped tuition, let us have a look at the general monetary costs that both of them would incur.

Customarily, home tuition does fetch a higher price than grouped tuition, given that the students get a one on one session with the teacher and lessons take place in the student’s home (usually). Grouped tuition, on the other hand, typically takes place in a tuition centre, or a location convenient for the tutor.

Not to mention, grouped tuition is also provided at most community centres at a lower rate compared to that of tuition centres. 

Another factor that impacts the cost of such tuition is how advanced the student is in their educational journey. For instance, students seeking tuition for ‘A’ Level would expect to pay much more compared to a student seeking tuition for the PSLE. 

A tutor’s accomplishments and qualifications also play a part in the overall cost of the tuition. Generally speaking, the more qualified the tutor is and/or the more successful their students, the higher their rates. Because of this, there are instances of some grouped tuition being more costly than home tuition.

Now that we have addressed the monetary costs of home versus grouped tuition, we must also have a look at the pros and cons of home and grouped tuition in order to help you make a cost-effective decision!

More on home tuition

As established, home tuition does tend to be more expensive than grouped tuition, but that is not without good reason! 

Home tuition allows the student to have the full attention of their tutors. As such, students who are struggling significantly with certain subjects might consider this to be the best option for them.

Having one on one sessions with a tutor allows the tutor to quickly identify the student’s weak points in a subject as well as note the pace at which the student learns best. Compared to grouped tuition, where the tutor’s attention is spread out among a class of students, one might see this as a significant benefit of home tuition.

The tutor is, thus, able to remedy these weak points and create lessons that are catered specifically for the student, ensuring a more effective lesson for them. 

This is also great for students who require significant micromanaging. Some students struggle to pay attention in a classroom setting due to the presence of friends, or they are simply confused as to how to go about studying for the subject. All of these can be easily mitigated with a home tutor to help guide them along. 

Home tuition also generally involves the tutor teaching at their student’s location, which is another reason for the higher price point. This, however, does make things much more convenient for the student, as lessons take place in the comfort of their own homes and they do not need to spend extra time travelling.

However, because of the situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, parents might opt to practice social distancing measures to avoid potential health risks. As such, tuition lessons might take place online on platforms such as Zoom or Google meets. 

Nonetheless, through online lessons, the student will still get the full attention of their tutors and it will also be easier for the tutor to micromanage them compared to grouped tuition. 

Until social distancing rules lift, parents might also opt for the tutor to provide tuition at their homes should the student really be struggling to keep up.

All of these are good points to note for the benefits of home tuition, however, it does not come without its cons as well.

Unlike grouped tuition, students will lack the opportunity to engage in peer to peer discussions. Should a student thrive off of discussing their content with other students in the same position as them and prefer to learn together, then home tuition might not be the best option for them.

However, if the student is not keen on peer to peer discussions, or are too far behind in the subject to effectively engage in it, then perhaps home tuition should be necessary for them.

More on grouped tuition

While being generally cheaper than home tuition, this is not to say that it is necessarily less effective than home tuition. As established before, it all depends on your child’s preferences and their capabilities in the subject.

For many students, grouped tuition is a good way to stay ahead of their school’s curriculum or serve as revision for what they have already learnt in school. The ‘kiasu’ culture of many Singaporean parents also tells us that most students, especially primary school students already have tuition in order to stay ahead. 

Grouped tuition often involves the teaching of topics in a more condensed way as a means to keep ahead of the school curriculum. As such, grouped tuition might be a better option for students that are hoping to maintain their good grades or solidify their existing knowledge on a certain topic. 

Tutors in grouped tuition, unlike home tutors, have their attention spread out among a class of students and as such, this makes micromanaging of students quite the challenge. Hence, grouped tuition might also be better for older students who find it much easier to pay attention in classes without getting distracted by other students.

Such tuition classes also often take place in tuition centres or at a location that is convenient for the tutor. So, travelling time is something that should be considered by students and parents as well. 

However, as previously mentioned, because of COVID-19, most tuition lessons have been shifted online, which takes away the potential inconvenience caused by having to travel to a different location. 

Despite this, there still remains the problem of some students struggling to adapt to the online learning style. As such, this article will address some tips to help with that at the end! 

Grouped tuition also mimics the classroom setting, with students being grouped together to learn from a common source. This is great for students who enjoy learning with friends! 

Sometimes, students learning from each other might be more effective as they understand what each other are going through. It is also helpful for students who might be hesitant or miss the opportunity to clarify their questions in class, as it is often that other students are the more approachable option. 

Some tutors might also employ group discussion techniques to encourage interactions and brainstorming among students that helps to build important teamwork skills in students. This is in contrast to home tuition, where students have to rely on themselves to answer the questions posed by their tutors.

Given that Project Work is something that students will inevitably face in their tertiary education, be it in Junior College or Polytechnic, grouped tuition might be good to foster these teamwork skills at an earlier age for younger students.

Thus, to conclude, neither home nor grouped tuition is objectively ‘better’ than the other per say, as it all falls back on what the student is aiming for and their respective needs.

How to maximise the benefits of home and/or grouped tuition

Now to address the worries that some parents might have about seeking tuition during a pandemic. Firstly, it is important to understand that it is normal for students to struggle with the sudden switch from physical to online learning.

The change involves many factors, such as the learning environment, study schedules, and many more. As such, students will naturally have to take some time to adapt.

However, there are some tips that could help with that!

Given that online learning has made it significantly more challenging for teachers to keep a keen eye on their students, students must learn to take the initiative to be in charge of their own studies.

As parents, it would be immensely helpful to provide a good support system for your child as they pursue their education, and a good way to start is by setting goals with them.

When creating goals with your child, remember to keep it realistic with the intention of improving with each step. A common mistake that most tend to make is to set goals that are too ambitious in the short run.

Because of the unrealistic standards that these goals would impose on the student, many fall short of meeting the said expectations and end up feeling unmotivated. This is something that should be avoided at all costs as motivation is what keeps us improving in what we do.

Thus, it would be helpful to have a sit down session with your child to set realistic goals before moving on to discuss how to go about attaining them.

Once the goals have been set, it would be helpful to have them written down and placed in a position that is visible for them as a reminder!

Moving on, in order to avoid potential distractions during tuition lessons, it would be beneficial for students to have a designated location to have their lessons.

Said location should be kept tidy and cleared of any potentially distracting items, such as game consoles, etc. It should also keep all the items necessary for learning, such as their books and stationary, so as to avoid wasted time if students have to fetch these items during tuition lessons. Creating a conducive environment for study is essential in making sure that a student gets to learn effectively. 

Lastly, students should also share these goals with their tutors in order to work together to attain them. Tutors, together with the student, can come up with a study plan that works for them and ensures that they stay on track while taking online lessons.

On that note, it would also be helpful if students kept a planner or a list of tasks to be completed on the daily as well as create a weekly schedule. This will help to ensure that they get their tasks completed on time and helps them to settle into a familiar routine.

When planning the tasks to be done for the day or the week, it is also essential that students do not overload themselves in order to avoid a burn out.