Online tutors - do they cut the mustard?
Online tutoring is very much a growth business. It's cheaper than paying someone to come to your home, and can be more convenient. Some children positively prefer to interact online, though for others nothing can beat being able to discuss things face to face - so consider whether it is likely to suit your child. Some points to bear in mind when you try out a service:
- Did your child have any problems understanding what the tutor was saying?
- Did the tutor understand what help your child needed?
- Could they provide the help?
- Was it easy to make an appointment when you wanted one?
Some sites aim at home-schooled children, whilst others back up normal school work. Alongside individual tutoring, most provide a range of online resources that children can access when they please - which means they can practise as much as they like. Many of them specialise in maths, which is of course a relatively easy subject to teach online.
Our guinea pig tried out several, and she and her parent give their views. Parental comment: ‘All in all I am very much more impressed with all the online tutoring that is available than I thought I ever would be. Also, it appears to be a lifeline for some people who have not been able to find suitable private tutors.’
Review snapshot: 'ConquerMaths is a maths website (no interactive online tutoring) covering key stages 3 and 4 (years 7 – 11). You can sign up and work on it online or you can purchase a CD-rom to use on your computer.' read more
Review snapshot: 'Maths Doctor provides online maths tuition for students aged 7 to 18+, and cover all levels from key stage 2 to degree level. All lessons are bespoke and tailored to the learner, and tutors are UK-based and trained for the level they're teaching at.' read more
Review snapshot: 'My Own Tutor is an educational website for 7 – 16 year olds, primarily concerned with maths and English. It is aimed at helping with homework, catching up and getting ahead of the class.' read more
It was a marriage made in heaven - Robert Grabiner’s embryonic tutor company coupled with business partner Bertie Hubbard’s Big Idea: bespoke online tutoring delivered one-to-one by sparky students at top universities. read more
Review snapshot: 'Periplus is a website that provides online tutoring for a range of users: home-schooled children, help with school work, and revision, and tutoring a subject that you don't have at school or may not be available in your school.' read more
Review snapsho: 'TLC’s tutors are all qualified teachers, and it showed. The tutor had a pleasant, well-pitched manner and was very constructive in his explanations. All TLC tutors are CRB checked and students only ever connect with the tutor with whom they’re scheduled to have a lesson.' read more