Take a look at the number of tutoring centres that have opened up across South Africa over the last few years. Not only are the number of smaller tuition centres increasing but big tuition centres as well. Kumon first made a mark in South Africa being a tutoring program based upon the premise that repetition and rote learning worked to help students learn Mathematics and English concepts. The Kumon program also advocated the need for students to be regular with their homework to practice concepts learnt individually and within a certain amount of time.

After Kumon, the Kip McGrath blended learning program came about. Kip McGrath focused on assessing every learner and creating a learning program to suit each learner's individual learning style. Kip McGrath promotes the idea of having a learner's book decorated colourfully and using flashcards to inspire and excite learners to want to learn. The Kip program also believes in the blended learning approach where computer activities were used together with traditional learning resources such as worksheets.

Kip McGrath learning
Kip McGrath tutorials thought of ways to stimulate learning which included using colours to decorate work, blended learning approaches and traditional worksheets. Source: Unsplash

Then came Simply Addictive Mathematics (SAM) and UCMAS which focused on new ways to teach mathematical concepts using Singapore's maths curriculum and an abacus.

With so many well-establish tutorial centres, it is important that private and home-based tutors keep looking for ways to make their teaching methods more interesting.

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Understanding the Importance of Having Fun While Learning

Perhaps you are a teacher who has started tutoring so you can make a difference in students' lives on a one-on-one basis. Tutoring is a good way to escape the classroom environment and you get extra income when you do so as well.

Superprof's South African tutors are all passionate about making a difference in the way that learners learn and in the way that learners view learning. While many Superprof tutors are teachers, there are quite a few professionals who are not in the field of education. They are just as passionate as teachers about helping learners to grow and thrive. These Superprof tutors bring to the fore funfilled ideas on how to break up complex concepts contained in the Mathematics, Science and Accounting textbooks into simpler ideas so as to foster optimal learning. It is best when a tutor focuses individually on each student that he tutors and goes from home to home to provide lessons.

The Personalised Approach To Tuition

You must remember the minimum number of students in a public school classroom is 35. This means that it is barely possible for each subject teacher to give individualised attention to each student. The fun aspect of tutoring is going to each child's home and focusing on each child's individual needs while tutoring. By doing this, you are automatically deviating from the norm of traditional schooling classroom learning.

The familiar home setting and the convenience of learning at a right time does increase the learning for the student. Also, the fun aspect comes about in that a strict timetable is not set for the students. Tutors who do personal tuition formulate a timetable based on the learners' needs. For example, some learners enjoy art and drawing. In this way, tutors can make it a possibility to have 10 minutes at the end of every lesson to let the child draw about what he or she has learnt. For subjects like Science and History which entails diagrams and timelines, drawing can be particularly important and fun too.

drawing after learning
Give children time to be creative after the tutorial session so they can creatively express what they have learnt. Source: Unsplash

So why is fun learning important?

Learning is essentially fun. With a lengthy curriculum and so many concepts to cover annually, this idea can get lost. However, if you really want to get your student to learn you must start your lesson with humour. Laughter releases endorphins and it makes students more alert. The brain retains the most information when a student is in a positive state emotionally.  In order for students to really learn they must formulate links between the new work that they are learning and past experiences while being in a positive mindset.

Children do not by their very nature have a long attention span. Therefore, if you keep on spewing out information in a lecturing way, you will lose the child's interest entirely. Being energetic and zany yourself while disseminating the information is necessary. Your energy will allow the child or children to focus but if you want to make sure optimal learning is included, introduce an educational game. Game time will be the needed recess that children need in order to learn best. Plus an educational game will still enable learning during the recess period without the learning actually feeling like learning.

A strategy to make learning fun
One way of ensuring you keep the learner's focus is by introducing games into the lesson. Source: Unsplash

There are about 800 studies that assert the fact that play has a positive impact on children's development. Play is fun so it cannot be detrimental in any way. So make sure to include elements of play and fun into your lessons. The art of play allows children to connect to the familiar and this, in turn, fosters genuine learning.

Are you considering incorporating fun elements into the way that you teach? There are many methods available to make teaching fun.

How to Make Learning Fun for Students?

Fun Ways to Think About Rules

You may think that children hate rules. But every subject has rules. There are grammatical rules that children ought to follow to avoid a split infinitive error in English and there are also rules that children need to follow in Mathematics to solve the Pythagorean Theorem. If you think about it, every game starts with rules. If games had no rules at all, the game won't have an element of fun. If you could continue playing after getting bitten by a snake in the Snakes and Ladder game, you will finish the game too quickly and it won't be fun. In the same way that games utilise rules to enhance the fun, use your rules in subjects to make solving a maths problem fun. If a student omits a certain rule, create a reasonable punishment for failure to adhere to the rule. If your student uses rules well, provide positive reinforcement. A simple trick of handing out Smarties every time a rule is correctly followed could add a fun element to the learning of these rules.

Learning is fun
Get children to love to learn and make the learning of rules fun too. Source: Unsplash | Tim Mossholder

Bringing in Games into the Learning Situation

Games allow children to feel less pressured to succeed and thus when playing games the child improves at his or her own pace and at his or her own level. Games also enable students to create a mental picture and this is good. Including games in your lessons has become so much easier since there is a phletora of games available online for you to choose from.  Aside from games teaching children language and skills in a certain subject discipline, it also works to improve the fine motor skills of students.  This is a great skill that you need to work on developing especially in younger children.

The games that you bring into your class will relate to the subject that you are teaching. There are many games available that are specifically meant to teach Mathematics. Mathletics is one such software based upon the South African curriculum that can be used to get your students to interactively learn Mathematics. If you are teaching English, Reading Eggs is a great educational game specifically meant to get learners to read fluently and to love reading.

Use Alternatives to the Usual Paperback Textbook

Students tend to use traditional old fashion textbooks when learning subject matter at school. If you want to make learning at home somewhat different, deviate from bringing the same, "Afrikaans Sonder Grense"  textbook used at school to your Afrikaans tuition lesson. There are many online learning apps that you can use.

Snapplify allows you to sign up and purchase a variety of e-books. Using an e-book to assist learning may be cool as the child can have access to the e-book on his or her tablet. You can also find e-books that are entirely different to those used at school but yet with the same content.

Discovery Education has the best possible lesson plans for tutors who are teaching History and Geography to learners. It is an app that makes learning all about the past that much more fun. The app is based upon the Cambridge curriculum where teachers focus on the five E's when teaching- engaging, exploring, explaining, elaborating and evaluating.  However, you can still adapt the lessons that have already been planned to the CAPS curriculum.

Youtube Kids and Youtube are also excellent tools to bring into your lesson. After teaching about the results of a Science experiment, let your students watch a video of the experiment actually being conducted. The video will allow the child to actually visualise all the steps of the experiment and benefits the learning process entirely.

Rope in tablets and devices
Use e-books on cellphones and tablets to deviate from using traditional textbooks during tuition lessons.            Source: Unsplash

Understanding that Learning is Fun

The internet is filled with online learning apps that do change our perception of the culture of learning. We can fathom from the vast array of multiple-choice quizzes online or the variety of online games that:

  • Children are stimulated to learn as they play
  • Learning need not only happen from good old fashioned textbooks but from watching movies and documentaries too
  • Learning doesn't necessarily need to be boring for children to learn
  • Deviating from traditional learning methods encourages fun learning which is still a form of learning

If you still need more convincing, do note that Albert Einstein said:

"Having fun is the best way to learning."

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Laila

Laila is an enthusiastic English educator and a fun-filled freelance writer. She has accomplished her dream of getting her first book published and has managed to write over 1 000 000 words since beginning her freelance career. In her free time, she is a travel blogger who explores all South Africa has to offer.