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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Sumners

Should My Child Join an Academic Coaching Group?

At Empower, we offer both individual coaching and small group coaching. When parents ask, “Which one is the best fit for my child?”, our answer is - it depends.

There are benefits to the personalization of working one on one with a coach, but there’s also many students who would benefit from working with other kids - and some would even benefit from a creative combination of the two formats.

If you need some help on choosing the right fit for your child, our free EF quiz can be a great tool as well.

Today we want to focus on the power of small coaching groups. Our version of this is called the Empowered Student Circle, but these benefits can equally apply to groups that students create, like study groups, or groups that you can facilitate as a parent.

Why are small coaching groups so helpful?

  • It helps students feel less alone.

One comment we sometimes hear from parents whose kids are hesitant to get academic help is, “But no one else needs help.” They often don’t realize many of their classmates work with tutors or create study groups with peers or help each other with tasks. If they don’t see it, they may not know it’s happening. Coming together with a group of grade-level peers is a powerful way for students to see, “Oh, it’s not just me. I can see lots of people also struggle with knowing how to study or managing their full school & sports schedule.”

Beyond feeling a sense of relief that they aren’t the only ones with challenges, they also now have a built-in team of cheerleaders who will celebrate with them when they succeed and provide support and encouragement when they hit bumps in the road on their journey.

  • It creates opportunities for building confidence by allowing kids to help each other and share their expertise.

When other kids share their struggles and your child has a great idea for how to help them based on their own experience, they feel proud of their expertise AND get to feel the joy of helping others.

For example, one ninth grader may say, “I’m really having trouble keeping up with all of my papers at school.” Your child, who has struggled with organization in the past but has discovered a strategy that works for them, offers, “Can I help you with an idea? I also really struggled with that because I had to keep track of so much more than in middle school. I have one binder that I use and I make sure it has a pocket to put the most important papers like things I need to get signed by my parents. Do you think that would help you?” It’s an amazing way for children to shine and recognize their growth and skills.

  • It offers a chance to develop collaborative and leadership skills.

So many times in school, kids are told to “work in a group” to complete a project. But how often are they taught how to be a good group member? I’m sure we can all remember a time when we worked in a group and either had to do the whole thing ourselves to avoid a bad grade or had to step back entirely when another group member took control.

In a small group coaching space, kids can learn how to take on a group role, how to split tasks equitably, and how to ask for help from others when needed.

  • It helps students strengthen social connections.

Students benefit in innumerable ways when they feel like a valuable member of a community. Small group coaching is a great way to help students build authentic connections with their peers with the support of a caring academic coach. This can be especially helpful for students who have had trouble connecting with others at school or who aren’t involved in social activities outside of school.

If these benefits sound like something your child needs in their life right now, we invite you to enroll them in the Empowered Student Circle! We offer cozy, grade level supportive groups of no more than 10 students. We provide groups for students in the 6th through 12th grade.

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