A criticism often levelled at today’s young people is that they lack the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. Of course this is a generalisation and there will be exceptions, but it is something that needs to be taken into consideration, especially by parents looking for the best method of providing out-of-school study assistance to their children. Many families now engage tutors who come to the home, and while this method of delivery is convenient for busy families, it has its own issues of suitability of study space, and the distractions of normal family life. Youngsters who struggle to concentrate may not get the full benefit of tutoring in this situation.
There is an alternative that is just as convenient, and solves the problem of distractibility. A purpose-built, dedicated learning centre staffed with specialist tutors within a reasonable distance from home provides the ideal environment for learning. These centres are becoming more popular in response to demand from parents who have found that having a tutor in their home is not the best option for their child.
A well-appointed learning centre will have several key characteristics. It will be conveniently located in relation to public transport to cater for the parent who doesn’t drive, or the secondary or tertiary level student who is mature and reliable enough to catch a bus or train unsupervised.
It should be air-conditioned for the comfort of everyone. There are few more difficult learning environments than a classroom that only has fans for cooling, especially on a typical hot summer day. Air conditioning is not a luxury when it comes to providing the best learning environment. With the room temperature at a constant level, it removes the distraction of being too hot or too cold for the students to apply themselves to the work at hand.
The study rooms in the learning centre should be away from public and staff areas, quiet and well-lit, to give both the student and the tutor the opportunity to engage in learning free from noise, interruption and distraction. The rooms themselves should have a large study space such as a table or desktop area where learning materials and books can be spread out for the duration of the session. The chairs in the room must be ergonomically correct, since both the students and their tutors will spend a lot of time seated. A whiteboard, computer equipment and a fast and reliable internet connection are essential.
A specialised learning centre can also provide additional programs at weekends and during holiday periods, to consolidate learning and prepare the student for the resumption of normal school activities. Parents need all the help they can get so their children get the best education possible. Learning centres provide additional benefits to assist them do just that.