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Tutor Tips: Should My Kid Study in a Group or Alone?

Parents often ask if it’s better for students to study alone or in a group. There are benefits and drawbacks to both, and the answer will depend a lot on the individual student’s ability to concentrate and their specific learning needs. Many students find that it’s easier for them to study in a social setting as long as the students they are working with are equally motivated and able to focus on the task at hand. Students who need a little more direction can hire a tutor to run their study group and ensure that every student finishes their assignments or studies for an upcoming exam.

Peer motivation
One of the best reasons for students to study as part of a group is to receive positive motivation from their peers. When studying solo, many students start to get distracted by things around the house, or they become bored by their assignment and end up taking two hours to complete an assignment that only needed 45 minutes of their time. When students are working in a group, they’re more likely to stay focused because everybody is working on the same thing. If a student is struggling with a particular aspect of an assignment, they will often receive motivation from their peers to persevere and finish on time.

Information sharing
Students who are working on larger projects can also benefit from sharing information that each student acquires during their solo study. Perhaps one student discovered a great online source while another found some information buried in the back of their textbook. When students share essential information, it benefits the entire group and allows them to take study tips from their peers. When it comes to research, students finish assignments faster because everybody is looking for the same information. Students work with the same group of people for an extended period, they can also learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and use that to their advantage.

Positive socialization
Study groups also offer an excellent example of positive socialization. It’s great for students to have role models who value getting good grades and notice that their friends are focused on their future as well. It’s important for students to have an opportunity to socialize but they often don’t have enough time during busy parts of the semester. A study group is a great solution and allows students a chance to socialize a little bit will still completing their assignments and test prep. At this age, students make a lot of decisions based on what their friends do so it’s really important that they socialize with a group of people who think their education is important.

Working as a team
Working as part of a group also helps students learn teamwork. This is an essential skill that students will need for college and career. However, most students never figure out the benefits of working as part of a team. Most assignments are given out to each student, and they have graded accordingly. Group study, even when grades are geared to the individual, can teach a valuable skill, and students can always supplement with solo study at home if necessary.

Robyn Scott is a private English tutor at TutorNerds. She attended the University of California, Irvine as an undergraduate and the University of Southampton in England as a graduate student. She has worked with students from the United States, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and Africa. Robyn has been published on many sites, including USA Today, Edudemic, and Edutopia.

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