Hi there. In this education post, I would like to highlight that there are students who put in effort only when there is homework or when there is a test coming up. This is something that I am seeing in some students at my Mathnasium work. Some of the regular students do not try too hard when there is no homework, no test coming up or when they do no have math in their current semester. They try when there are about be graded on a test or assignment. When they do put in effort the mathematics skills and algebra is filled with mistakes and/or the speed is slow.
With Some Subjects Consistent Practice & Homework Is Important
Subjects such as mathematics, science and languages do require a lot of homework for building skills, problem solving and speed versus subjects that focus on mostly memorization. These subjects have concepts to build upon previous concepts. It is not like you see a certain topic once and never see it again. Some topics do reappear in mathematics, science and language subjects.
In mathematics, a lot of regular practice is helpful for keeping the algebra skills sharp, developing and maintaining problem solving skills as well as for memory retention of topics. Something like avoiding the regular homework problems and trying only when there is a math test soon would work in the short term but not in the long term.
When it comes to cramming it is something I do not recommend. Cramming is an easy scheduling decision as you only try a few days before a test. The energy is saved only for it matters. Downsides for cramming is that there is only so much information you can absorb in a short period of time and there is likely not much memory retention in the long term. There are some people who get great or even lucky results while cramming but I do think it can only get you so far. Cramming does not really work for mathematics and languages as topics build upon each other and there is a lot of practice needed for understanding & speed.
The Tutor/Instructor/Educator Side Of Things
It is one thing if a student is behind in terms of knowledge and skills in a subject but it is another thing if the student just does not want to try. If a student is behind and wants to get better then that student along with the tutor/instructor can work together towards improvement. A student who is not willing to try or learn just does not get much done regardless of the efforts of the tutor/instructor/teacher, how good the instruction is and even regardless of how much time and money is spent. An unwilling student does waste time for him/herself and for the tutor/instructor. There is also wasted money if the education expenses are from out of pocket. Success from the student depends on the student and the education providers.
For those who need extra tutoring on a as needed basis, private tutors are typically the the number one choice. Technology has expanded the number of available tutors that are there for homework help, test preparation or even learning new topics ahead of the class. There are cases where a student hires a tutor where the student did not do much homework or test preparation. One or two hours may not be enough to cover a certain amount of material or for building skill and memory. Tutors can be put in an uncomfortable situation where topics to cover are not known until the session occurs or the amount of material to go through is too much in a short time period.