Teaching kids to learn faster in a very fun environment
By EDWIN P. SALLAN
NOT all children are created equal. Some simply learn faster than others.
Tutoring Club, however, believes every child has the potential to excel academically. With its skills-based approach, this tutoring service franchise with 222 branches in the United States, Canada, Kuwait and the Philippines has, for the last 20 years, helped thousands of children achieve success in school—in all academic levels.
So how does it do it? Inday Mallari, President of Tutoring Club Philippines says that like other tutoring services that are also skills-based, it all starts with a diagnostic test to identify the areas where a child can improve academically. “What sets Tutoring Club from the rest is the process by which we work with the kids,” she points out. “In other tutoring centers, the children are sent home with worksheets. In our case, all of the worksheets are done here, nothing is taken home. The philosophy there is that while the child is doing the work independently, there is intervention from the tutor if what is taught is not clear. The tutor works with the child to immediately correct what is wrong with his or her work. No time is wasted.”
Mallari, a B.S. Math major from Ateneo De Manila University who also taught the subject to high school students of the equally prestigious Poveda Learning Centre says Tutoring Club recognizes that children learn at different rates and it is through the initial diagnostic test where each child’s “starting point” is properly identified. Learning can then be individualized.
But can’t the students learn the same things at the same rate in school? “In school, you have your set curriculum that all children will have to go through with,” Mallari explains. “They’ll pass the papers at the same time and some will be able to pick up faster than the others. Hence, some will score 100 on a test while others who did not master the lesson as well will only get 85. Tutoring Club works on those lessons that the student did not quite master.”
Susan Reyes, who co-owns the Philippine franchise that started operations in 2007 says there are 11 branches of Tutoring Club here with more to open soon. She adds that unlike in school where the teacher will just continue with the curriculum whether the students master the lessons or not, Tutoring Club will work patiently with the child until those lessons are mastered. Stress is also reduced and confidence is built since each student starts at a level that he or she can handle and then progressing through the grade levels as rapidly as he or she can. “Our goal is to bring each student to his or her desired academic level as quickly as possible,” she notes.
And unlike private tutors who just help a child with her or her homework, Reyes says that at Tutoring Club, “we help the child understand what he or she doesn’t really know to begin with so that progress is better.”
Contrary to what some parents might believe that it’s expensive to enter their children at a tutoring service like Tutoring Club, Mallari begs to disagree. “Let’s say you’re paying a tutor P4,000 a month for 10 months to get up one level. The following school year, you’re probably going to do that again. Ours is only 32 hours and that’s guaranteed, we will get you child up at less time and ultimately less cost for you.”
One thing that impressed the young mother about Tutoring Club is the “tokens” or “chips” given to children who continue to improve with every session. “It’s a rewards or incentive system that the kids can either bank or redeem items at our little store and encourages them to improve their academic skills.”
Villanueva also cites the guarantee that Tutoring Club offers to all children. “After a certain number of sessions, a child’s learning level goes up. If it doesn’t, they just keep teaching him or her.”
Compared to similar tutoring services that offer a classroom environment at the ratio of 10 students to one tutor, Tutoring Club limits this to 3 is to 1 in a U-shaped table where the tutor sits in the center and the three students in front of him, thereby allowing for a more personalized way of improving one’s learning skills.
Ces Gutierrez, a school teacher herself whose 7-year old grandson also goes to Tutoring Club stresses the importance of availing of Tutoring Club’s services even if a child is actually doing well in school. “My grandson’s study habits are okay since I teach him myself but I wanted him to strengthen his math skills and he did. Before when I ask him to add something, he gets a piece of paper but now he’s more mentally alert and can now add things in his head. His grade before is 89 and after going to Tutoring Club, it’s now 95,” the proud grandma beams.
And like Villanueva’s daughter, Gutierrez also says that her grandson is actually looking forward to his Tutoring Club sessions which he and the other kids consider to be fun.
“We do make it a point to make this place not an extension of the children’s classrooms,” Mallari points out.
Yes, not all children are created equal. And yes, some learn faster than others. Well, Tutoring Club serves as an equalizer that allows even the slowest learners to “catch up and keep up” while having a lot of fun doing it here in the process.
“The teachers are young, hip and then they do have these tokens. So yeah, it is a lot of fun for your kids to come here and learn,” Villanueva concludes.
For more information, visit http://www.tutoringclub.com/philippines.asp.
A Tutoring Club video from the US: