Time and again, the pattern is the same. The Easter holidays arrive, and parents flock to hire a tutor for their child in order to help them cram some revision for the looming exam period.
But when it comes to a student’s learning, it’s inevitably the case that a stitch in time saves nine: psychologist Nate Cornell has flagged the importance of studying regularly and assimilating knowledge steadily, as it comes in.
Hiring an online tutor at the start of the academic year and integrating them into your child’s mode of study encourages the act of learning to become an experience, rather than just something that’s triggered by a teacher-school scenario.
It even accentuates the very neurochemistry behind the practice of learning, as learning expert Seth Godin explains.
Why Online, and not Face-to-Face?
An online tutor is just the same as an in-person tutor, but the session takes place over a video call, rather than face-to-face. This means you get exactly the same quality of teaching and benefits from one-on-one focus, all easily facilitated by a simple wifi connection.
We’ve written in depth about the differences – or, in fact, the not-so-differences – between online and in-person tuition elsewhere, but the long and short of it is that online tuition has revolutionised the private tutoring sector in great ways.
Hiring an online tutor will mean a less expensive fee, access to a wider range of tutors and specialists in subject areas – as well as a wider range of subjects themselves – and an increased flexibility in the time and place of teaching.
The convenience and ‘portability’ of an online tutor also leads to a subtle but radical shift in attitude and mindset for the student, too. The ritual of in-person sessions, with a private tutor turning up after school and arriving in the home space, can often lead to a sense of drudgery in students who’ve only just escaped the confines of school for the day. Tuition risks being imbued with a Gradgrindian sense of scholarly flailing and punishment.
A nifty, portable online tutor, however, separated by video link but still delivering the crucial benefits of human-to-human, one-on-one focus and interaction, can electrify the extra-academic environment. An online tutor becomes like a personal mentor – a sprite or genie – that you can call upon each week to help with the topics you struggled with in the classroom for whatever reason (see more below).
There’s something neat, tidy and efficient about online tuition, and kids who’re used to video-calling and digital connections won’t bat an eyelid – indeed, they’ll jump at the chance to spend a bit of time learning with the aid of online resources, whilst still being rooted by the personalised approach of a real-life individual. It’s the best of both worlds.
How does an Online Tutor help?
The answer to this question can be broken down into four key elements.
There are various and commonly-occuring reasons why students might not pick something up in the classroom the first time round. In large classes, the teacher might not have time to go at the right pace for everybody, and students can be more intimidated to put up their hands and ask the questions they need to, for fear of looking stupid or slowing things down.
There’s also the perfectly natural case that some topics might be harder to grasp than others for certain students. Someone who’s otherwise fine with maths might struggle to grasp algebra or trigonometry in particular, for example. It might even be the case that, whether pandemic-related or not, your child might have missed out or had reduced exposure to certain topics altogether.
An online tutor can, via discussion with student and parent, and via first-hand experience with the student her- or his-self, pinpoint what needs working on.
Employing a tutor across the academic year means they can track the syllabus and work as a consolidatory teacher each week, going back over and checking on what has or hasn’t percolated in a pupil’s mind.
For Example: Got a GCSE-level student who lost out on depth of learning in Year 10 due to Covid-19? Use an online tutor to consolidate that hazy knowledge!
2. Homework Help
Homework is designed to help consolidate learning through solo application and problem-solving. But it’s no good being left alone with something if you still fundamentally don’t know what it is you’re tackling! Via re-teaching and collaboration, an online tutor can work each week with a student on their homework, taking the problems thrown up by each task as an opportunity to firm up both knowledge and technique.
For Example: Got a presentation on the Weimar Republic? Struggling with your accent for your French or Spanish Oral? An online tutor can give you a boost each week by jogging through your homework with you, helping to consolidate each weeks’ work.
3. Exam Technique
For years 11, 12 and 13, it’s never too early to start on exam technique. An online tutor can help your child get a serious head-start at the beginning of the year by getting them acclimated to the ways in which the things they’re learning will need to be deployed and executed come the end of the year.
For Example: Got a student who’s nervous about those big English Literature or Language end-of-paper essay questions? Get them practicing now and it’ll be a doddle come June.
4. Extra-Academic: Confidence, Motivation, Mentoring
Learning is not just a mechanical transaction involving the absorption of knowledge! It’s a holistic and complex thing, and we all need boosts, particularly around the things we’ve been told we’re worse at.
Having an online tutor naturally boosts morale by getting the one-on-one focus, attention and praise a student might need to flourish. Part-mentor, part-therapist, part-motivator, they can address extra-academic issues like nerves, low confidence and motivational issues with tried-and-tested tactics.
For Example: Struggling with how long to spend on each exam question? Losing focus on your least favourite subject? Nervous about the 11+? A weekly session with an online tutor boosts morale and motivation, offering a check-in and diagnostic check-up for students and parents alike.
Online Tuition with Minerva
With our world-leading experience and expertise, we can offer a range of carefully vetted and top-class tutors to work online with your child.
Thanks to Temple – Minerva’s online portal – you’ll receive weekly status reports that identify the strengths and weaknesses of a student, and how they’ll be tackled.
You’ll also have access to 9–5 assistance from our education support managers, who have access to resources and past papers.
You can even switch and add tutors for new subjects easily, as you like.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch and find out more.